Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sea cucumbers

You really don't have to visit expensive restaurant to have good sea food mix with high quality high grade sea cucumber. All you have to do is spend RM1k++ to buy a 600g of dried sea cucumber.

Yup…shocking is it? Freaking expensive!

But I'm luck to never mix a sea cumber and mushroom mix for new year. My mom some how have connections to buy high grade sea cucumbers for a reasonable price. The ones below are from my aunty from New York…FOC hehe

Side track: Did you know you can freeze lobsters, stuff the FedEx box with dry ice and send it over and the lobsters still fresh??!! I hear it works so I'm going to ask my aunty to do that when she has the time. I know.. crazy! hehehe

Some sea cucumber may look huge, but that doesn't prove the high grade. It is best to pick the really dry sea cucumber. The drier, the bigger it will grow. There are also different types of sea cucumber. Some although smaller in size is more expensive as the flesh is more rubbery when cooked hence better texture. No point buying big sea cucumber but texture like soft jelly.

"Chu poh Sam" is one of the giant sea cucumber species that I know off. When soaked, the sea cucumber can grow up to 50cm long!

Don't be cheated by shops selling sea cucumber. Be really careful and don't buy too many from one shop at one go. Try the sea cucumber and only head back for more if it is of good quality. My mom wasted a lot of money once when she bought sea cucumbers that were full of chemicals from Sabah. A real waste. She had to throw the 2 BIG BOXES away... =(

So what do you do with dried sea cucumber?

Step 1: Take a big pot of filtered water and start boiling it with your sea cucumbers. Remember that your sea cucumbers will grow, so make sure you used a big big pot. Turn it off once the water boils. Leave it for 12 hours.


Step 2: After 12 hours, reboil the pot of sea cucumbers. Chop up ginger in chunks and boil together with the sea cucumbers. Turn it off once the water boils. Leave it for another 12 hours.


Step 3: After 12 hours, remove the sea cucumbers and scrape off the dirt on the skin of the sea cucumbers. Also remove the insides and the inside layer skin. Reboil the sea cucumbers and turn off once the water boils. Leave it for another 12 hours. Continue to do this (the cleaning and boiling in 12 hours) until your sea cucumbers have fully grown. Remember not to let it grow too soft as they will melt to water when you cook them.


If you are not planning to cook them at once, you can freeze it in a plastic bag up to a few months in the freezer. This is a good way to transport sea cucumbers too. My mom will usually soak them and bring it back to our home town to cook.

A tip to improve the taste. Poke holes in the sea cucumbers with a fork and marinate for 15 minutes with fish sauce.

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12 pieces of worms:

Gallivanter

Yikes! They certainly don't look appetizing, in the sea NOR on the land! :-P

Precious Pea

So much work involved, no wonder the restaurant charge so high. Oh by the way, big hello to you. Nice blog :)

Melting Wok

ayoo..they looked better when its dry. Tt last pix is bit horrific haha, kinda pimply looking. Anyways, I will still eat it after all tt wonderful braising, wahh..so expensive in M'sia, hmm, I could get this for USD$35/lbs here.

Keropok Man

wah... lots of work hor. i just go home and ask mummy to cook :-p

MeiyeN

seacucumber always my favourite! another good thing, they are cholestrol-free :D

teckiee

Gallivanter: I didnt eat sea cucumber for the first 20 years of my life because of the look... but disgusting and dirty stuff taste the best. Honest!

Precious Pea: That is why my mom usually soak a lot, and freeze them. Less hassle when you want to cook them.

Melting Wok: where got.. look likeee...err.. dried berak! (read in BM)

keropok man: hahahhaha cook for your mom...she'll love u more for it.

meiyen: ahh the more reason to eat more. My grandma said they are good for the joints too.

cookies_cream

I've always love sea cucumbers~! They're so nice with very great texture and when you cook them with mushrooms and vege in oyster sauce/abalone sauce, they're just heaven! Yummylicious and healthy~

Could I come over during New Year? :P

teckiee

cookies_cream: heheh can can.. but mom cooking it in Ipoh woor? or i'll email some to u lah ;P

cucumberharvester

hi ppl. just wondering does anyone eat the pinkish mussel on inner skin, i pan fry in batter mmmmm.

cucumberharvester

when i fish 4 sea cucumber we bring in usually around 60,000 pounds at 23 cents a pound crazy eh?

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Mark

Do you know where your aunt bought them from?

I'm trying to find a place to buy them in NYC

-mark

mark@colorfulsharpies.com

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