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What is a sea cucumber [Split from L.A. board]

Mr. Taster, what is a sea cucumber??? I'm very intrigued. Thanks.

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    1. re: tony michaels

      Thank you tony! Nothing like I imagined. What does it taste like? Is it considered a delicacy?

      1. re: Bite Me

        it's sort of like eating hard gelatin. i like it in brown sauce. i usually get it when i'm in a korean chinese restaurant.

        1. re: Bite Me

          Yes, it is considered a delicacy -- at least in Chinese cuisine.

          Quite expensive if you buy them live. Cheaper if bought dead/dehydrated.

          Usu. served braised with "gai cai" (a type of bitter Chinese green), also used in soups.

          By itself, it has very little taste.

          1. re: Bite Me

            Others have described the taste, (never have tried one personally). I have handled many of these little critters while skin and scuba diving and only once, (in Tahiti) did it hurl/squirt its sticky white innards all over me. After that I look at them but leave them where they lay.

            1. re: Bite Me

              It's definitely a delicacy, especially for Cantonese people. It doesn't have much of a taste, but a lot of Cantonese dishes emphasize the texture and uniqueness of the ingredients. The same is true of shark fin soup. The fin doesn't have much of a flavor, but it definitely has a texture that goes very well with the other ingredients. I don't personally like sea cucumber too much.

          2. In a Sichuan place I like, it is one of the three treasures in three treasures rice crisp. A nice contrast with the squid and chicken - plus the textures of the rice crisps.

            ed

            1. I swore to myself that I would never eat it,I m ean look at it...It looks like a giant worm and it pukes out its intestines (?) as a defense mechanism

              I ate it on accident in some ja jang myun at a local korean restaurant in maryland and I loved it

              1. tastes just like - tripe :-) at least the texture is in that category.

                1. It's a lot like jelly fish, if you've ever had that. I like sea cuke, but I love jellyfish.