South African Dried Sea Cucumber 南非海参干
Also known as Tu Shen 秃参干
Dried sea cucumbers usually expands double to triple the dried sizes after soaking. Here's how:
- Rinse off the salt on the sea cucumber’s surface and the sand inside its cavity thoroughly. Be gentle: the sea cucumber could fall apart while cooking if its membrane is broken at this stage.
- Soak the sea cucumber in clean water for two days, change water every day. The sea cucumber can’t be in contact with any salt or oil until it gets soft. Some of the new available varieties take longer to soften. You can adjust the soaking time based on the situation.
- Slowly cook the soaked sea cucumber in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat afterwards, cover and let cool. Cut it open and remove the organs inside. If the sea cucumber still feels hard, repeat the boiling process for two or three times, until it turns completely soft.
- Cook the sea cucumber as desired or store it in the freezer once it cools down. In terms of cooking, the lightly flavored sea cucumber should be paired with something that has a strong taste. Braising with spring onions, dried shrimp roe or abalone sauce is a more manageable option at home.