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Can you identify this seafood?

I spotted it outdoors at a Chinese market on Grand St., east of Forsyth:


The bin was unlabeled, except for the price per pound. Thanks in advance for your random speculations and reasonable guesses, if not your assured ID.

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  1. Just a guess, but might this be some kind of sea vegetable or seaweed? It doesn't seem to have many features indentifyable with animals...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler

      i also thought at first that it might be some sort of anemone or sea cucumber...but they almost look like ridged squid bodies - perhaps it's some other cephalopod? cuttlefish?

      i hope someone figures it out because i'm stumped and now i want to know!

    2. Is it a sea squirt of sorts? Most anemone are inedible I believe so it can't be that.


      1. They look like barnacles, to me.

        1. I be there's some scientist(s) at the NY Aquarium or the American Museum of Natural history who can identify this in a trice. Explore around in the websites for sea-creture specialist.

          1. Looks like Dale Chihully glass sculptures. Beautiful pic.

            1 Reply
            1. re: simetrias

              I just e-mailed yr pix to my Chinese friend in Chicago.
              His family are great cooks and eaters.

            2. Tai Ji Ang Fa...okay...if this is mandarin..which it looks like it might be..then the last word, "fa" is definitely "flower". It looks like some kind of anemone or coral type thing. Sorry I can't help. If I ever see it. I would have to ask them in Cantonese.

              1 Reply
              1. re: swong705

                i have never seen these types of things above the water line but from a scuba diving perspective they look just like coral polyps that bloom at night.

                or maybe zoanthids?


              2. looks good! how much was it a pound? I feel like I've seen the dried version of this sort of thing in the dried scallops aisle of asian markets, but never seen it fresh. for some reason, seems like it would be illegal to sell it!

                1 Reply
                1. re: bigjeff

                  I don't recall the exact price, bigjeff, but it was something like $4.50 per pound, maybe a bit more.

                2. What did the person selling the stuff say it was ... after you asked him or her???

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    I asked if she spoke English, and she said, "little." It went downhill from there. If I'd thought of it at the time, I might have managed to have her write out the name in Chinese characters, for the appraisal of Chowhounds.

                  2. They look like they'd have the crunch of jellyfish. I wonder if it is jellyfish or a part of jellyfish. They look delicious!

                    1. My nephew has a bs in oceanography/zoology. He guessed that they were some type of anemone. But he added: "Are they good...?"

                      If they are anything like jellyfish, they would have more texture to them than flavor. We were served jellyfish often in China usually in cold diishes. I remember the crunch but not a taste.

                      1. I don't know the name, but I've eaten it. Texture is crunchy, something between jellyfish and rehydrated dried cuttlefish, taste is mild like squid

                        1. Judging from the color, I would guess some sort of anemone or coral since both can be brightly colored. Either that or something out of an H. P. Lovecraft story.

                          1. someone replied to me "I had it at one restaurant where they identified it as red coral clam"

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: swong705

                              Ding ding ding! I think we have a winner...Scroll down the page, it appears to be the 6th picture down.


                              1. re: soypower

                                Sorry to disagree, but that photo looks more like strips of clam meat that are curled up, IMO. I hope someone can find a definitive answer - now I'm really curious.

                                1. re: gmm

                                  Looking as closely as I can at the picture it does appear to be "red coral clam." Whatever that is. SOme of the striations are less obvious but I am assuming it is the coating sauce.

                                  1. re: soypower

                                    Doesn't look like any clam I ever ate.

                                  2. re: swong705

                                    soypower, those dishes look delicious!

                                  3. I sent the pic to a friend that owns a fish market and he also thought it was some type of anemone.

                                    1. Did you touch it? It looks like marinated dried squid. Does not look like a fresh product and the gloss and texture is typical of dried squid preparations, though I've not seen it rolled like that.

                                      1. Jellyfish, the answer turns out to be:


                                        Note that the stage of the jellyfish in my original photo shows very clearly its relation to anenomes and corals. Thanks to everyone for your help!