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Why is Sea Cucumber is a delicacy in Asia?

Have you ever seen a Sea Cucumber? or may have eaten one?. In Asia, it is considered a delicacy in different Asian cultures.

 

This oblong-shaped, gelatinous species belongs to the class Holothuroidea and is distantly related to starfish and sea urchins. The sea cucumber is aptly named since it resembles a cucumber in shape.

 

Sea Cucumbers are marine creatures that can be found across the oceans, although the most significant number is concentrated in the Pacific.

 

Sea cucumbers come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, but the three most common edible species are prickly, bald, and white teat. The prickly sea cucumber, the most expensive variety, is tall and dark in appearance, with a spiky outer layer. It is a favorite of many chefs because of its crunchy and slightly springy texture. Due to their size and quality, Japanese ones will be the most expensive.

 

The Middle East, Africa, and Australia are all home to bald sea cucumbers. It is plumper and has a rounder head than the prickly sea cucumber. This cultivar is softer than others due to its thick covering of flesh. Off-white skin with white dots on it gives the white teat sea cucumber its name, and it is native to Indonesia, Australia, and Africa.

 

So why does this became a delicacy in Asia?

 

Sea cucumbers are also used in tradition to treat different diseases. In Chinese medicine, sea cucumber is used to cure a variety of conditions, including arthritis, cancer, frequent urination, and impotence, as well as impotence itself.

 

Traditional Chinese medicine also uses sea cucumber extract in creams, tinctures, oils, cosmetics, and oral sea cucumber supplements. However, despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that sea cucumbers, as a whole, have any medicinal properties worth investigating.

 

But for millennia, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures have relied on sea cucumbers as a food source.

 

Indeed, they have been caught in the Pacific Ocean for more than one hundred and seventy years! The dried version of these slug-like critters is the most frequent, but they can also be utilized fresh. It is also possible to consume sea cucumbers as a raw, pickled, or fried dish. To add flavor, they're often spiced with meats, other shellfish, or spices, as they have a slippery texture and bland taste.

 


 

Sources:

 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sea-cucumber#uses

https://www.thespruceeats.com/sea-cucumber-overview-695159

 

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