Food - Drink
Sea Cucumbers: The Ocean Delicacy You Should Know
By CYRENA GOURDEAU
Sea cucumbers bear a visual resemblance to the common green vegetable, but this "cucumber" is an ocean-dwelling animal with over 2,000 species under its umbrella. Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates that live on the seafloor, and these odd-looking creatures are considered a delicacy in some cultures.
Sea cucumbers offer an array of nutritional benefits, and are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer, arthritis, and even impotence. They are rich in vitamin A, B2, B3, and antioxidants, which can reduce blood pressure, and sea cucumbers are mostly pure protein — but if you want to try this unique seafood, be prepared to pay up.
Sea cucumbers can cost as much as $3,000 per kilogram, and on online retailers like Amazon, get ready to drop over $200 on one pound of dried, wild-caught Atlantic Black pin sea cucumber. The three primary edible species of sea cucumber — prickly, bald, and white teat — can vary in price, but none are cheap, especially when fresh.
To cook dried sea cucumber, soak it in water for up to two days, and avoid contact with oil. All sea cucumbers must be cleaned by removing the outer skin, then simply boil them for 20 minutes, remove the inner organs, and keep cooking until soft; the final result will be mild in taste and can be added to porridges, soups, and even salads.