Cleaning sea cucumber is actually not as daunting as I used to think. You just need to plan ahead when you are going to make a dish using sea cucumbers because it takes some time to prepare and get the hard rock sea cucumber to soften and plumped up.
Dried sea cucumber
Click here for recipe using Sea Cucumber.
- Always check with the store where you buy your sea cucumber from on how many days you need to soak the sea cucumber as this depend on the size, the grade/quality of the sea cucumber you get. When I bought mine, the store recommended soaking period of 6 days
- If you are soaking for several days, always change with fresh water every day until the end of the recommended soaking period. Make sure the sea cucumbers are completely submerged in the water. Cover them so no other particles will get in
- After 2-3 days of soaking, it will start to soften a bit. Use a knife to scrap the inside part of the sea cucumber. You may not be able to get all off it at one go, but continue to do so for the next few days. You may also scrap the outside of the sea cucumber to get rid of the extra "whitish" crust
- It had almost doubled in size at the end of the soaking period
- At the end of the soaking period, in my case, day 6, boil the sea cucumber for about 1 hour in a big pot with a lid on and do not remove the cover
- Wait until the sea cucumber is cool before opening the lid. Throw away the water. If it is still hard, boil again with a fresh water until it is soft and bouncy (you can leave the lid out this time). Be careful not to over boil or it can turn into mush
- Once it is soft, throw away the boiling water. You can wrap them with plastic wrap and freeze them if you are not going to use it soon
- When ready for use, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then cut them into the desire sizes
Look at the size after it is being cleaned and soaked