Starfish are one of the most unique sea creatures in the world, and they can be found in waters throughout the globe.
Starfish aren’t only pretty to look at; in some parts of the world, they’re a unique delicacy that can be enjoyed on its own, or with other foods.
Are you curious to try starfish for yourself?
Starfish has a unique flavor and texture that can be hard to describe, but in this article, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about these unique sea invertebrates, how to eat them, and more. Ready? Let’s dive in!
What Is Starfish?
Starfish (sometimes called sea stars) are marine invertebrates that live in the sea. Most starfish have circular bodies and five long arms. Starfish can be found in warm waters or cold seafloors, and live in waters throughout the world.
There are approximately 1,600 species of starfish living in the world’s oceans, and they live in all sorts of habitats, including tidal pools, sea grass, and rocky shores.
Can You Eat Starfish?
Although you may not have given much thought to this question before, you may be intrigued to know that yes, you can actually eat starfish.
These unique sea invertebrates are actually delicacies in some parts of the world and are enjoyed regularly in different regions of China and Japan. Starfish is safe to eat, as long as it’s cooked correctly. Eating raw starfish can lead to food poisoning.
What Starfish Aren’t Edible?
Although most species of starfish are safe to eat, there are a few that should be avoided. Certain species, such as the crown-of-thorn starfish, are extremely poisonous and should not be eaten.
Always source your starfish from a reliable vendor to ensure it’s fit for human consumption.
Yellow-orange starfish are the most commonly consumed species, so if you’re unsure which species to eat, we’d recommend choosing this variety.
This is also one of the most popular species served throughout Asia, so if you’re visiting a restaurant where starfish is on the menu, there’s a good chance you’ll be eating this one!
What Does Starfish Taste Like?
Starfish have a unique taste, which can make it pretty challenging to describe. Starfish have a distinctly creamy texture and a slightly bitter taste which can only be likened to sea urchins.
However, some have also noted some similarities between starfish and ground beef.
Some people also say that starfish is pretty tasteless, or just has a slight tinge of salt and pepper. It’s thought that the taste varies depending on the type of species you eat.
However, the taste can also vary depending on how your starfish is prepared and cooked.
Does Starfish Taste Nice?
The answer to this question is a little subjective. If you enjoy seafood and eat it regularly, you’ll probably enjoy the taste of starfish. However, its briny taste and unusual texture can be off-putting to those who aren’t fans of seafood.
Its unusual taste may take some getting used to. Remember, starfish can taste different depending on how it’s cooked and prepared. So, you may need to try a few different varieties before you find one you enjoy!
What Is The Texture Of A Starfish?
Once cooked, your starfish will have a slightly chunky, meaty texture. This texture can range from chewy and ground, to creamy and tough. The texture will depend on how your starfish is cooked.
What Parts Of Starfish Are Edible?
The exterior of a starfish is poisonous and should NOT be eaten. The starfish is a unique delicacy, and only the meat inside its legs can be eaten.
How To Cook Starfish
If you’re going to prepare starfish yourself, you’ll need to know how to cook it. Because starfish has yet to become a popular delicacy in the west, few of us know how to prepare and cook it safely.
Here’s everything you need to know about cooking starfish.
To cook your starfish, you will need:
- Large pot
- Pliers or shell crackers
- Fill a large pot with water, until it’s ¾ full.
- Place your water on the stove, and put it on medium heat until it’s bought to a boil.
- Add a liberal amount of salt to your water. This will enhance the flavor of the starfish.
- Now, place your starfish in the boiling water. For this method, chefs prefer to use live starfish or a starfish that has been dead for less than a day. If your starfish has been dead for more than 24 hours, it will be too tough to eat and may have an unpleasant taste and texture.
- You can now boil your starfish for between three to five minutes. Once boiled, you can remove your starfish from the water and immediately put it in a bowl of cold water for 20 seconds.
- After 20 seconds, you can remove your starfish from cold water and dry it off.
- Grab your pliers or cracker, and remove the outer shell of the starfish. Remove all of the outer shell until the gray meat is exposed – this is the part that you can eat.
Other ways to cook starfish include:
Grilling is a much simpler process. To grill your starfish, simply place it on the grill and cook it until the skin becomes golden brown. This will take just a few minutes.
You can then remove your starfish from the grill, crack off the outer shell, and eat the meat.
You can also deep fry your starfish. This is a popular cooking method, and you’ll find deep-fried starfish served in many restaurants throughout Asia and other parts of the world where the starfish is enjoyed as a delicacy.
Simply place your starfish in hot oil until crispy and brown. Drain the oil, remove the outer shell, and season with salt and pepper.
Does Grilled Starfish Taste Nice?
Grilled starfish will taste a little different from boiled or deep-fried starfish.
Grilled starfish tend to taste more bitter than other varieties. Its oceanic, or ‘fishy’ flavor is more pronounced, so if you want a more muted flavor, we’d recommend avoiding this type of starfish.
If you’re grilling your starfish, you may find that it needs more seasoning. Salt and pepper will suffice, but you may also prefer to experiment with your seasonings and add a little paprika or cayenne to the mix.
Does Starfish Taste Like Fish?
Although you may be used to the taste of seafood, you’ll probably still find that starfish tastes slightly different. It’s hard to liken its taste or texture to other seafood, but if you’ve enjoyed urchins or crabs, you may enjoy its flavor.
Starfish has a similar bitter taste and texture to some varieties of fish, but it’s not exactly identical.
When you eat starfish, you’ll probably recognize that briny, sea-water taste that can be detected in other varieties of fish. However, the intensity of this flavor will vary depending on how your starfish is prepped, seasoned, and cooked.
Are Starfish Good For You?
Although starfish are enjoyed for their taste and texture, they’re also an incredibly healthy addition to your diet. The starfish contains many vitamins and nutrients that are essential for human health.
If you’re looking for something different to add to your keto diet, you’re in luck, because the starfish is also keto-friendly!
Here’s the nutritional profile of a 100g serving of starfish:
- 3g of Fat
- 56 mg Cholesterol
- 52 mg Sodium
- 22g Protein
- 140.0mg Calcium
- 390 mg Potassium
- 300.0mg Phosphorous
The Benefits Of Eating Starfish
- Boosts immunity
- Anti-ageing properties
- Supports human growth and development
- Develops memory
- Increases moisture and elasticity in the skin
- Helps recovery from fatigue
These are just a few of the benefits of starfish that we know of, and scientists are still working to learn more about this unique invertebrate.
What Foods Taste Best With Starfish?
Wondering what tastes best with starfish?
Well, starfish without any seasoning or sauce will not be pleasant. Starfish is almost always seasoned before eating it.
We’d recommend only allowing a professional to prepare and cook your starfish, as they’ll know which seasonings and sauces taste the best with your variety.
If you’re preparing starfish yourself, we’d recommend seasoning it with some oil, pepper, salt, and a hot sauce to accentuate the flavor.
Once your starfish is ready to eat, you can simply scoop out the inside and eat it as it is. Most people prefer not to eat their starfish with other foods, because they can distract from the unique flavors and textures which many people love to enjoy.
The Bottom Line
Starfish is one of the most unique delicacies in the world. Although it may not be at the top of your bucket list of seafood to try, we’d highly recommend eating starfish prepared and cooked by a professional.
This will ensure you get the safest (and tastiest!) experience.
If you’re cooking starfish yourself, remember: not all species are edible, and the outer shell can be poisonous. Do your research, and remember to remove the outer shell before eating.
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