Sea Pineapple/Common Sea Squirt: Hoya/Mahoya


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


13 thoughts on “Sea Pineapple/Common Sea Squirt: Hoya/Mahoya”

  1. My husband just came back from Jeju [Korea] where women divers with out airtanks went down to harvest these and other items from ocean floor. then they prepared them tableside where he and hosts ate them raw along with anemones and sea cucumbers. totally different than the cucumber he reported.


  2. This is a very unusual animal isn’t it? Since it has something resembling a backbone it is probably a closer relation to humans than to sea cucumbers.
    Never tasted it myself, but the thought of squirt sushi is tantalising.


  3. It looks quite different from the sea cucumber i know that’s popular in chinese cooking. The one i’m familiar with is black/translucent and very gelatinous. Is yours the same texture when cooked?


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