Cooking a Dehydrated Sea Cucumber: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sea cucumbers are a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and an expensive wedding banquet or Chinese New Year dish. Although sometimes sold fresh, sea cucumbers most often dry immediately after harvest, known as meche-de-mer or repang, and require rehydration before cooking. To rehydrate them, you'll need clean hands, a very clean pot and some water. Start by washing the sea cucumbers and putting them in the pot.

The water level should be about 4 to 5 cm above the sea cucumbers. Cover the pot and bring the contents to the boiling point. Boil the contents for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover and let cool. Cut it and remove the organs inside.

If the sea cucumber still feels hard, repeat the boiling process two or three times, until it softens completely. You can also leave the sea cucumbers to soak overnight. Frozen sea cucumber that has been thawed in the refrigerator overnight can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days. To thaw it in water, keep the sea cucumber in its container and immerse it in a bowl of cold water for 1 to 2 hours, changing the water every half hour.

Return the sea cucumber to a bowl of fresh water and remove it when it has doubled in size and is soft, which could take another day or two. Due to its delicate texture, sea cucumber should be added at the end of a recipe so that it does not fall apart during cooking. From a nutritional point of view, sea cucumbers have an impressive profile of valuable nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin) and minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. An extensive bibliographic survey revealed that sea cucumbers have a long history as a traditional food and folk medicine. The Chinese name for sea cucumber is hai shen, which roughly translates to marine ginseng, perhaps in reference to the food's renowned medicinal properties. The most expensive type of sea cucumber is elongated and dark in color, with a thorny exterior. Sea cucumbers are found on the seabed all over the world, or are called trenches. Now that you know how to cook a dehydrated sea cucumber, you can enjoy this delicacy anytime! Just remember to plan ahead when preparing dishes with sea cucumbers as it takes some time to prepare them and make them soft.

Sherman Downard
Sherman Downard

Experienced Chef, who specialises in dried seafood recipes and ingredient selection. Dried Sea cucumber, Dried scallops, abalone, fish maw and most of Asian favourites. Freelance enthusiast. Certified social media practitioner. Extreme fusion recipes lab

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