A lovely lady named Jennifer Reynolds gave me a few bags of cleaned Sea Cucumber last Sunday when we were both finishing up at the Catch Seafood Festival. Jennifer had spent some of the weekend cooking up this mysterious creature of the sea, and kindly offered me some to take home and experiment with. My first thought was to treat it like conch and make a stew, but I opted to make a soup with the sea cucumber that incorporated some of my favorite pantry items; coriander, garlic, limes and chilies.
Doug and I sat down to our steaming bowls of sea cucumber soup and were pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture. I hope that if anyone out there can get their grubby lil’ paws on any of this plankton eating creature, that they do so and experiment with it as I did today! It has a sweet flavor similar to a clam, but without the saltiness and has the texture of one of my favorite foods, tripe (specifically honeycomb tripe). The following is the recipe that I came up with that stars the sea cucumber in the leading role.
Sea Cucumber Soup
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic; sliced
- 1 scotch bonnet chili; minced (optional for heat lovers)
- 2 red peppers; diced
- 2 plum tomatoes; diced
- 1 cup chopped coriander – stems included
- 2 potatoes; diced
- 3 cups broth (chicken/fish/vegetable)
- 3 limes; zest and juice
- 2 cups cleaned sea cucumber
- salt & pepper to taste
Sweat the onion, garlic, chili and peppers in olive oil until translucent. Add the sea cucumber and cook for 2 minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Finish with a little more fresh coriander a squeeze of lime and some Matouk’s hot sauce (if you can handle it!)