Cooking sea cucumber is a delicate process that requires some preparation and patience. To begin, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add the sea cucumber. Simmer for 1 hour, covered. If the sea cucumber is still hard, mix the water and boil the cucumber in a pot of fresh water again.
At first, sea cucumbers may have a slight smell of the sea, but they will eventually take on the flavor of the sauces in which they are cooked. The white-nippled variety of sea cucumber is named after its white skin with white dots and comes from Indonesia, Australia and Africa. Sea cucumbers can be eaten raw, fried and pickled, but most often they are added to dry dishes, where they are then rehydrated and acquire their characteristic viscous texture. Like tofu, sea cucumbers are tasteless, but they have the ability to absorb the flavors of the foods and condiments with which they are cooked.
To thaw frozen sea cucumbers in water, keep them in their container and immerse them in a bowl of cold water for 1 to 2 hours, changing the water every half hour. Sea cucumber extract can also be found in numerous creams, tinctures, oils and cosmetics, as well as in oral sea cucumber supplements, which are considered very popular in traditional Chinese medicine. When cooking with sea cucumbers, it's important to plan ahead as it takes some time to prepare them and make the hard rock sea cucumber soften and become thicker. Frozen sea cucumbers that have been thawed in the refrigerator overnight can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days.
To cook with sea cucumbers, increase the heat to high and add the shiitake mushrooms, sea cucumbers and the remaining mushroom water to the pot. To prepare frozen sea cucumbers for cooking, they must be thawed in the refrigerator overnight in their original packaging. Although sometimes sold fresh, sea cucumbers most often dry immediately after harvest, known as meche-de-mer or repang, and require rehydration before cooking. Let them dry while using a small knife to gently scrape them with cold running water from the tap. Sea cucumbers are found on the seabed all over the world or are called trenches (I learned that from my children's bedside book about cats).
Due to their delicate texture, they should be added at the end of a recipe so that they do not fall apart during cooking.