Sea cucumbers are an oblong gelatinous creature belonging to the Holothuroidea class, and are distantly related to sea stars and sea urchins. Depending on where you travel, you may find it referred to as the romantic êche-de-mer or the slightly less attractive sea rat. Sea cucumber is sold both dry and frozen, and must be boiled before adding it to sautéed and stewed dishes. After boiling, cleaning and boiling, sea cucumbers are spread out on drying platforms or wire mesh trays.
It may take one to three weeks for it to dry in the sun. The drying speed depends on the thickness of the body walls, the exposed surface, temperature and relative humidity. The sensory scores of the three indicators of hardness, elasticity and chewability at 60°C were significantly lower than those of the other three temperatures, which may be due to the gradual denaturalization and degradation of collagen in the body wall of sea cucumbers at 60°C.Above all, this study suggested drying with hot air at 50°C as the best drying condition for sea cucumbers. The results of the drying time and the rehydration properties of sea cucumber showed that 50°C is the best drying condition for the hot air drying of sea cucumbers.
This means that rising temperatures not only reduced drying processing time, but also changed the structures of sea cucumbers. To prepare frozen sea cucumber for cooking, it must be thawed in the refrigerator overnight in its original packaging. The process of rehydrating dried sea cucumber should start in advance, as it can take several days (usually four to six days). Frozen sea cucumber that has been thawed in the refrigerator overnight can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days. Boiled and salted sea cucumbers contain a large amount of salt, so to eliminate it they must be soaked in water for 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours. When choosing a package of sea cucumbers, make sure there is not a lot of white film on the outside as this will make it difficult to clean them. Hot air drying is the most commonly used drying method today and is widely used to dry sea cucumbers.
Although sometimes sold fresh, sea cucumbers most often dry immediately after harvest, known as meche-de-mer or repang, and require rehydration before cooking. In conclusion, this study suggested that hot air drying at 50°C is the best drying condition for sea cucumbers. To prepare frozen sea cucumber for cooking, it must be thawed in the refrigerator overnight in its original packaging. Boiled and salted sea cucumbers must be soaked in water for 24 hours to eliminate salt content. When choosing a package of sea cucumbers, make sure there is not a lot of white film on the outside as this will make it difficult to clean them.