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How to Choose, Soak, and Cook Dried Sea Cucumber

Dried sea cucumber is a delicacy that is prized in Chinese cuisine for its unique texture and health benefits. However, if you're new to this ingredient, you may be unsure about how to select, prepare, and cook it. In this article, we'll walk you through the basics of working with dried sea cucumber.


Selecting Dried Sea Cucumber

When selecting dried sea cucumber, look for pieces that are plump, firm, and free from cracks or discoloration. The best quality sea cucumber will have a consistent color and texture throughout. Avoid any pieces that are mushy or have a fishy odor, as this may indicate spoilage.


Soaking Dried Sea Cucumber

Before you can cook with dried sea cucumber, you'll need to rehydrate it by soaking it in water. The amount of time needed to soak dried sea cucumber can vary depending on the size and thickness of the pieces. As a general rule of thumb, you should soak dried sea cucumber for at least 5~7days before cooking.



Cooking Dried Sea Cucumber

Once you've soaked the dried sea cucumber, it's time to cook it. There are many ways to prepare sea cucumber, including braising, stir-frying, and boiling. Here's a simple recipe to get you started:



1 piece of rehydrated dried sea cucumber

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1/2 cup of water



Cut the rehydrated dried sea cucumber into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the minced garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the sea cucumber and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and water, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sea cucumber is tender.

Final Thoughts

Dried sea cucumber may seem intimidating at first, but with a little bit of practice, you'll be able to prepare this delicacy with ease. Remember to select high-quality sea cucumber, soak it thoroughly, and experiment with different cooking methods to find your favorite way to enjoy it.