«

»

Sea Cucumber


Sea CucumberNutritionMore Seafood

Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the class Holothuroidea used in fresh or dried form in various cuisines.

The creature and the food product are commonly known as bêche-de-mer (literally “sea-spade”) in French, trepang (or trīpang) in Indonesian, namako in Japanese, and balatan in Tagalog. In Malay, it is known as the gamat.

Dried sea cucumber

Dried sea cucumber

Most cultures in East and Southeast Asia regard sea cucumbers as a delicacy.

In most dishes, the sea cucumber has a slippery texture. Common ingredients that go with sea cucumber dishes include winter melon, dried scallop, kai-lan, shiitake mushroom, and Chinese cabbage.

Harvest

Sea cucumbers destined for food are traditionally harvested by hand from small watercraft, a process anglicised into “trepanging” (after the Indonesian noun trepang). They are dried for preservation, and must be rehydrated by boiling and soaking in water for several days. They are mainly used as an ingredient in Chinese cuisine soups or stews.

Many commercially important species of sea cucumber are harvested and dried for export for use in Chinese cuisine as hoi sam. Some of the more commonly found species in markets include:

  • Holothuria scabra (sandfish)
  • Holothuria spinifera (brown sandfish)
  • Holothuria fuscogilva (bat susu, white teatfish)
  • Actinopyga mauritiana (spiny sea cucumber)
  • Stichius japonicus
  • Parastichopus californicus (giant California sea cucumber)
  • Thelenota ananas (prickly redfish)
  • Acaudina molpadioides

Western Australia has sea cucumber fisheries from Exmouth to the border of the Northern Territory; almost all of the catch is sandfish (Holothuria scabra). The fishing of the various species known as bêche-de-mer is regulated by state and federal legislation.

Five other species are targeted in the state’s bêche-de-mer harvest, these are Holothuria noblis (white teatfish), Holothuria whitmaei (black fish), Thelenota ananas (prickly redfish), Actinopyga echninitis (deep-water redfish), and Holothuria atra (lolly fish).

In the far north of Queensland, Australia, sea cucumber are harvested from the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. Targeted species include Holothuria noblis (white teatfish), Holothuria whitmaei (black teatfish) and H. scabra (sand fish). Divers are supplied air via hose or “hookah” from the surface and collect their catch by hand, diving to depths of up to 40 m.

The largest American species is Holothuria floridana, which abounds just below low-water mark on the Florida reefs. There are plans to harvest this species for the sea cucumber market.

Yokohama - Chinese Medicine - Sea cucumber

Jars of dried, gutted sea cucumbers at a traditional Chinese medicine emporium in Yokohama, Japan

Market

The trade in trepang, between Macassans seafarers and the aborigines of Arnhem Land, to supply the markets of Southern China is the first recorded example of trade between the inhabitants of the Australian continent and their Asian neighbours.

The dried form accounts for 95% of the sea cucumber traded annually in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, and Japan.

In Japan, sea cucumber is also eaten raw, as sashimi or sunomono, and its intestine is also eaten as konowata, which is salted and fermented food (one of a variety of shiokara). The dried ovary of sea cucumber is also eaten, which is called konoko (このこ) or kuchiko (くちこ).

Types

Both a fresh form and a dried form are used for cooking. The taste is described as “tasteless and bland”. Individually, the dried form is also used for traditional Chinese medicine. Chinese folk belief attributes male sexual health and aphrodisiac qualities to the sea cucumber, as it physically resembles a phallus, and uses a defence mechanism similar to ejaculation as it stiffens and squirts a jet of water at the aggressor. It is also considered a restorative for tendonitis and arthritis.

Sea cucumber, yane (Alaska Native)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 56 Calories from Fat 3.6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.40 g 1%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Potassium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%
Dietary Fibre g 0%
Sugars g
Protein 13 g 26%

Vitamin A   310 IU 6%
Folate   mcg 0%
Vitamin C   mg 0%
Vitamin D   IU 0%
Calcium   30 mg 3%
Iron   0.60 mg 3%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi There - We notice that you have an ad-blocker
Plenty of visitors do. All we ask is that you please consider sharing us or commenting on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
OR
General Profile
User Information
John Doe
Professor of Botanics
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, John is a superior specialist in growing palms and exotic plants.
Social rating:
OR
ARE YOU READY? GET IT NOW!
Vel eros amet amet mauris a habitasse scel erisque? Vel urna dis et, placerat phasellus, diam in! Placerat nec facilisis, tortor tristique. Arcu placerat sagittis, velit lorem scelerisque egestas placerat.
Subscribe Now
Join our weekly newsletter for more great recipes
OR
Just before you go
Please consider sharing us or commenting
on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Just before you go - please share us with your friends and followers.
Thank you for visiting
The Taste of Aussie
Subscribe Now
Join our free weekly newsletter to get the best recipes and cooking information.
TrophyWin a copy of "From The Source - Mexico"
Your Entries
0
Total Entries
7
Days Left
40
Mexico's best local cooks - from street food stalls, family-run haciendas and haute-cuisine restaurants - reveal their culinary passions, along with such classic regional recipes as marinated pork tacos, hot lime soup and Oaxacan hot chocolate

Enter the sweepstake to win a copy of this fantastic cookbook.
remaining