Contrary to their name, jellyfish are not fish but invertebrates that you can find in oceans worldwide. They are bell-shaped drifters that can live in warm, cold, salty, brackish, deep, and shallow waters. Can you eat jellyfish though?
Jellyfish have a water-filled bell-like body and tentacles with stinging cells called nematocysts. They use their tentacles to sting and release venom to paralyze their attacker or prey. Most people know them as being dangerous.
The tentacles are removed when being processed for consumption because even a dead jellyfish can release the venom as its cell structure remains intact after death.
Do People Eat Jellyfish and Is It Safe?
You might be surprised to find out that some cultures do, in fact, eat jellyfish. There are over 2000 species of jellyfish, but only 11 are safe for human consumption.
They are a popular delicacy in Asian countries, especially in China and Japan, but they are also gaining momentum in other countries because of their taste and health benefits.
Different species of jellyfish differ in nutritional content, but they are all rich in protein, antioxidants, selenium, iron, omega – 3 and choline.
Regular jellyfish consumption reduces the chances of getting chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease due to high levels of polyphenols.
What Does It Taste Like?
Generally, jellyfish has a salty, chewy, and mild flavor, meaning that most people eat it for the texture experience.
The taste can vary depending on whether it is fresh or dried; the dried one has a crunchy texture. However, the real difference comes with seasoning and dressing.
Can You Eat Jellyfish Raw?
Yes, people can eat raw jellyfish, but you should clean them rigorously because they contain bacterial pathogens that can cause food poisoning.
When buying from a seafood vendor, ensure it is freshly processed.
The jellyfish’s color can indicate its freshness. For example, white to light yellow indicates freshness, while darker yellow to brown indicates it is unsafe.
How To Cook Jellyfish
You can cook jellyfish by several methods, such as boiling, shallow frying, or deep-frying. Cook it for a shorter time, as prolonged cooking will make it tough.
Ensure to desalt it by soaking it in fresh water for at least 3 hours before cooking.
Jellyfish do not have their specific taste so marinate them with your favorite seasonings to achieve your desired taste.
Also, you can cut it into noodle-like pieces and cook it using your preferred method.
Here a few jellyfish recipes to try.
Is It Safe To Eat Jellyfish?
So, can you eat jellyfish? Some species of jellyfish are safe to eat as they contain important nutrients. Ensure to clean and process properly to remove all bacteria present in fresh jellyfish.
If you don’t know how to clean well, buy from a trusted vendor or buy dried ones.
Have you tried jellyfish? If so, let us know in the comments below.