Sea cucumber is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, and it is often used in dishes to celebrate Chinese New Year. It is sold both dry and frozen, and must be boiled before adding it to sautéed and stewed dishes. Farmed sea cucumbers or those caught in Central and North America, the Middle East, Australia and the South Pacific can be found at low prices. A Qing book that analyzes the medicinal qualities of herbs and other food ingredients goes one step further and proclaims the ability of sea cucumbers to improve men's urological abilities.
A book from the Ming Dynasty points to its physical resemblance to men's genitals, which could contribute to its popularity as an ingredient at that time, given the Chinese belief that a specific part of the body can be reinforced by eating foods that have a similar shape. Cooking dried sea cucumbers is not difficult, but it does require some preparation. First, you need to soak the sea cucumber in cold water for at least two hours. This will help to soften it up and make it easier to cook. Once it has been soaked, you can boil it for about 10 minutes or until it is tender.
After boiling, you can add it to your favorite sautéed or stewed dishes. Sea cucumber is one of the four most prestigious types of dried seafood in Chinese cuisine. Despite its eccentric appearance, sea cucumber is an important part of some refined dishes that celebrate Chinese New Year. With its unique flavor and texture, sea cucumber can be a great addition to any meal.