The Common Sea Squirt or Hoya/海鞘 in Japanese, very often called Sea Cucumber is neither a coral, seaweed, shellfish or whatever.
It is an animal of its own class.
In its natural habitat, 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.
I personally appreciate it as gunkan,
or sushi nigiri, although it is a bit of an acquired taste!
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6 thoughts on “Japanese Seafood Species 2: Sea Cucumber/Common Sea Squirt/Hoya-Mahoya-海鞘”
When I was little, I didn’t it at all because it looks so ugly ;-).. but after grew up it became my favorite. My grandmom makes Korean radish kimchi with this.. it is really good. um..I miss her.. should call her tonight! Thanks as usual!
You are most welcome my dear friend!
The first image scared the hell out of me! For a moment I thought it was some animal’s heart! O:< My my~~
You shpuld see what some fishermen get out of the depths!
*imaginations run wild* arghhh noooooo!!!
You never know, you might be tempted in drawing them to accompany your characters! LOL