Dieticians and nutritionists regard seafood as highly nutritious. However, when one talks of seafood, a majority of people think of fish.
There are many varieties of seafood like crabs, shrimp, lobsters, among others. Have you ever considered eating sea stars?
Are you concerned if they are edible at all?
While eating most seafood has many nutritional benefits, people ask themselves the questions above for lesser-known ones like starfish.
Yes, sea stars are edible. You are most likely to find sea stars served on a stick in Chinese and Japanese food markets. However, there are divided opinions regarding their taste. Some people say that starfish’s taste is not appealing. Others say that starfish have a similar taste to sea urchins but are creamier and bitter. It has also been said that starfish taste like ocean water and smell like a beach during a low tide.
So yes, sea stars are edible, but do you want to eat them?
Are Sea Stars Poisonous?
Although we have shown that you can eat sea stars, not all of them are edible. Some sea stars are poisonous, and you should never eat them.
However, only a few sea star species are venomous, like Crown of thorns starfish. So, can you eat sea stars? Yes, except the poisonous ones.
Although sea stars do not attack human beings, poisonous ones can inflict a painful sting. It happens especially when the sea star releases venom after you accidentally step on it or handle it. Therefore, care should be taken when you go fishing to separate the poisonous ones from the edible ones.
How Do You Prepare a Sea Star Meal?
As we have already discussed, some sea stars are poisonous. Never attempt preparing them yourself.
Only eat these species when cooked or prepared by an expert. The professionals deep the sea star inside a deep fryer or boil them in salted hot water.
The sea star must boil for between five to eight minutes. After boiling, place the sea star in a bowl of cold water for 15 seconds. It cools the sea star down.
After the sea fish is cool, lay it with its belly facing upwards. Open each arm to expose the cooked flesh inside that looks grey.
To crack its hard-outer shell, you may need to use a lobster cracker or a pair of pliers. Never attempt eating the skin. Scoop the flesh out of the arm and enjoy it.
It is upon you to decide how to eat it. You can use a spoon, your fingers, or your tongue to scoop the flesh. You can take sea star alone or in with a combination of other meals too.
You can also grill the sea stars. First, season it with pepper and salt.
Second, put your sea star on a rack that is coated with oil to cook. Wait for the sea star to cook evenly and enjoy the flesh by cracking its arms.
In some countries like China, they serve a sea star on a stick. They give it to you with a small stick stuck through one arm or tentacles.
Sea stars are considered delicacies in China, and they are served after deep frying.
When you prepare a sea star to consume, it is better if it is alive. However, if it has been dead for less than a day, it can still be okay to eat it.
A sea star gets too hard if it has been dead for over 24 hours. Because there is little meat in a starfish, eat more than one.
The Benefits of Eating Sea Stars
There are many benefits of eating sea stars that can be categorized into medical and nutritional benefits. Below is a detailed account of these benefits.
Medical Benefits of Sea Stars
Their outer body has a non-stick material that treats inflammatory diseases like hay fever and arthritis in humans. It achieves curative abilities by repelling the viruses and bacteria causing these diseases.
It has led to the emergence of medical research ideas like using the sea star’s non-stick material to prevent human tissue damage.
They also have been used in the production of materials that treat alcoholism and asthma. Its body can also cultivate a person’s joints and other parts of the human body.
Like any other seafood, sea stars have a range of nutritional benefits if cooked properly. This section will delve into the nutritional benefits you get after eating sea stars.
Sea stars are a good source of vitamins. They contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, B5, B12, A, C, and K.
Vitamins promote the development and growth of your body. They are also essential in various body functions like digestion, metabolism, and immunity. For instance, thiamin (Vitamin B1) helps the body to convert carbohydrates into energy.
Vitamin A in sea stars helps your body to defend itself against illnesses.
Sea stars and all other seafood are a vital source of minerals. Minerals are essential for your body to stay healthy, sharp mind, and be strong.
They keep your muscles, bones, brain, and heart working properly. They are also vital in the production of hormones and enzymes.
Sea stars have minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc that help your body in the functions above. The selenium in starfish helps a body create special proteins, referred to as antioxidant enzymes.
These prevent cell damage.
These are the building blocks for proteins. They play a vital role in the functioning of your body.
Amino acids are necessary for vital body processes like building cells and the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones. They help a person’s mind to be sharp.
Sea stars contain various amino acids that can be beneficial to a person. These include Leucine, Valine, cystine, tyrosine, threonine, Methionine, among several others.
Valine helps to stimulate muscle regeneration and growth. Methionine acts as an antioxidant, safeguarding your body from harmful substances.
Sea stars are low-quality carbohydrate foods. Therefore, they do not cause issues like obesity.
Do you want to improve your muscle mass and remain healthy? Sea stars should be your food of choice.
Can you eat sea stars? Yes, you can eat non-poisonous sea stars. They have a wide range of nutritional benefits and medical benefits to your body.
However, you should know that they do not smell or taste like other fish. While their taste differs from opinion to opinion, one thing remains constant, and they are nutritious. Have several because they do not have a lot of meat.
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