Sea Cucumber/Common Sea Squirt: Hoya/Mahoya

HOYA-1

The Common Sea Squirt, very often called Sea Cucumber is neither a coral, seaweed, shellfish or whatever.
It is an animal of its own class.

HOYA

In its natural habitat, already a prey to many marine predators, it has become rare because of the extensive catch by humans.

HOYA-NATURAL

Its natural colour is whitish out of the water while (see pic above) Hoya rasied by humans are of a deep orange colour.

We are just in the middle of its season, May.
They are mainly raised in Miyagi Prefecture while natural ones are caught in Iwate Prefecture.

HOYA-2

You have to cut it open to reach its edible part.

HOYA-3

It can be eaten raw, slightly boiled or pickled.
It is said to be the rare sea animal combining the four tastes: sweetness, saltiness, sourness and acidity.

HOYA-4

For a better view of its insides.
It is called sea squirt, because it is mainly filled with sea water which can be expelled at will.

HOYA-SUSHI

I personally appreciate it as sushi nigiri, although it is a bit of an acquired taste!

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