Dried Sea Cucumber
Chinese name: 海参 (hǎishēn/hoi2sum1)
What are dried sea cucumbers?
- Sea cucumbers are echinoderms and are harvested from all around the world.
- Commercial dried sea cucumber is produced from fresh sea cucumber, after washing, their internal organs are removed, followed by boiling down, and drying process to preserve it.
- Buy Dried Sea Cucumber
- To the Chinese it is considered one of the big 海味.
- Dried sea cucumber is delicacy that has many healing properties.
- Chinese like to enjoy this delicacy on festive occasions. Same as abalone and shark’s fin, sea cucumber is a main dish fit to impress guests at dinner.
- For Cantonese people it is auspicious because its phonetically similarity to 開心 (kāixīn), which means “happiness”.
- Sea cucumbers are usually braised in sauce and served as one of the main dishes in a course. It can also be added with other ingredients to make a healing soup.
How do I select it?
- Dry sea cucumbers should be 95-100% dry.
- Price varies depending on the origin/species, quality, rarity, and size.
- Japanese and Korean sea cucumbers are the highest quality.
- In 2011, Po Wing Hong became the first direct importers of Korean sea cucumbers to the U.S. They are currently exclusively sold at our store. Buy Dried Sea Cucumber
- Decide what you are using it for and what your budget is.
- For soups, use ones with thicker “meat”. Thin “meat” sea cucumbers may break down completely when boiled for extended periods. If you are unsure which to choose, just ask one of our sales staff for recommendations — we’re always happy to help!
- Quick frozen reconstituted dried sea cucumbers in the freezer aisle are good alternatives because it has already been cleaned and boiled and are ready to eat. However, you will lose some firmness and flavor compared to dried sea cucumber from the preservatives.
Are there any health benefits?
- Sea cucumber is very nutritious. It is a high protein, low fat, low cholesterol food. Traditional medicine considers it especially good for those with high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, hepatitis, and it is general good health food for the elderly. Buy Dried Sea Cucumber
How do I reconstitute dried sea cucumber?
- Re-hydrate the sea cucumbers by placing a pot of water on the stove and heating it to a boil. Put the sea cucumbers in the pot, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 mins. Turn the heat off after 20 mins and cover the pot. Soak the sea cucumbers for up to 12 hours or overnight in the pot, allowing the liquid to cool down to room temperature. After 12 hours, drain and place the sea cucumbers in a bowl and replace with fresh water. Keep soaking the sea cucumbers in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Check on the consistency by squeezing the center of the sea cucumber. They will be ready to use when the center is the consistency of soft rubber and the surface is slippery and slimy.
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