Surf's Up Magazine

Are Starfish Edible?

  • Date: February 26, 2024
  • Time to read: 3 min.

While starfish may be commonly referred to as a “sea star”. They are in fact not fish but rather part of the echinoderm phylum and closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. Many people wonder, “are starfish edible?”

As their name implies, sea stars are star-shaped invertebrates with multiple arms radiating from a central point. The most often seen species has five limbs, creating the classic symbol of a star.

Spanning a broad range of aquatic habitats, from tropical coral reefs to the depths of frigid oceans, around 2000 starfish species exist in our world today.

So can you eat starfish and have you ever wondered what it tastes like? Keep reading to find out!

are starfish edible
Are Starfish Edible

Can you Eat Starfish?

Even if it doesn’t inspire an appetite, starfish is absolutely acceptable to consume and in certain parts of Asia can be found as a street food. It’s caught in large numbers for commercial reasons there too.

Ever Wondered Whether Eating Starfish is Safe?

If you’re seeking a unique culinary experience, starfish is the perfect option! Its tough exterior might seem off-putting at first glance, but this delicacy will surely tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Once the reluctance to take risks has been broken, you may finally be open to exploring new possibilities.

With its edibility and safety, starfish has become a go-to ingredient in the street food of countries such as China, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Nevertheless, some species are so toxic that they can be hazardous when eaten. An example would be the crown-of-thorn starfish.

different color starfish
Different Color Starfish

What Does It Taste Like? 

The unique flavor of a starfish is unmistakably oceanic; briny and salty, yet with an unexpected hint of sweetness. Delve further into the fleshy interior and you’re rewarded with a semi-solid texture that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds!

Starfish are tender and creamy, but their flavor is subject to individual opinion. It’s true that they don’t taste like fish, prawns or other seafood. Instead, starfish have a distinctively unique flavor all of their own.

People often debate about the taste of this delicacy, with some comparing it to that of sea urchins and Chinese river crab. Others have a more neutral opinion, finding it slightly bitter or salty in flavor.

The traditional method of cooking this dish involves a pan filled with oil and aromatics like salt, pepper, chili flakes or hot sauce to give it an added zing. Making it impossible to resist! 

Are Starfish Edible Raw?

If you’re looking to try something new and unique, a live starfish can be tantalizing. But caution must taken – eating it raw can cause food poisoning! That’s why it is strongly recommended that you first prepare the sea creature like one would with a lobster before cooking and consuming it for an enjoyable experience.

To ensure a safe and healthy meal, it is essential to check that the starfish you are cooking has not been deceased for more than 24 hours as eating spoiled seafood can lead to various stomach ailments.

can you eat starfish
Large Starfish

How To Cook Starfish? 

Boiling starfish is a simple yet delicious way to prepare the seafood delicacy. Start by adding salt to boiling water, then simmer your starfish for several minutes before transferring it into cold water for 15 seconds. After that, you’ll have perfectly cooked and succulent starfish ready to enjoy!

After boiling it, remove your starfish from the water and separate its limbs to uncover its delectable, greenish-brown flesh that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Looking for a unique culinary experience? In China, starfish are deep-fried and served as savory street food. When cooked just right, you can either enjoy the entire starfish. Or you can break off its legs to access the delicious meat within.

For an even bolder flavor sensation, try grilling your starfish and dusting it with salt and pepper. It’s sure to be a taste you won’t soon forget!

Is It Safe to Eat Starfish? 

Of course! Starfish is entirely safe to eat and offers numerous beneficial nutrients when consumed. As long as you have cleaned it by eliminating the intestines and stomach.

It is imperative to use caution when ingesting starfish since some varieties are toxic and can be deadly if eaten. Consumption of these poisonous species may cause severe consequences, making it essential to identify which type you have before consuming one.

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