American Oceans

Can You Eat Starfish and How Does It Taste?

Starfish, also referred to as a sea star, is not technically a fish. It belongs to the echinoderm phylum and is closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars.

As the name suggests, they are star-shaped marine invertebrates with numerous protruding arms. The most common variety of starfish is the one with five arms and a resulting star shape. 

There are approximately 2000 species of starfish that can be found in all kinds of different water habitats, ranging from tropical coral reefs to the cold seafloor. 

Many people question whether these beautiful creatures are edible or not. So can you eat starfish, and what does it taste like? Keep reading to learn more!

While it may not seem enticing, starfish is perfectly safe to eat and consumed as street food in regions of Asia, where it is caught in large quantities for commercial purposes. 

Do People Eat Starfish and Is It Safe? 

Starfish is an exotic food option that does not seem edible from afar. Its firm outer shell might deter you from making it part of your meal.

However, once the outer covering breaks open, you might finally be able to entertain the idea of trying it out. 

Since starfish is edible and safe to consume, it has become a popular component of street food cuisine in places like China, Indonesia, and Thailand.

However, certain species are highly poisonous and dangerous for consumption, such as the crown-of-thorn starfish.

What Does It Taste Like? 

A starfish has a characteristic sea-like taste that is salty and briny. On the inside, the meat has a semi-solid consistency and tastes pretty good once savored. 

Starfish have a tender and creamy texture, but what a starfish tastes like is somewhat subjective.

One thing is for sure; Starfish do not taste like fish, prawns, or traditional seafood. They have their own unique flavor.

Some people find it to have a flavor similar to sea urchins and the Chinese river crab, while others feel it is tasteless, slightly bitter, or salty.

It’s usually deep-fried and boiled with oil, salt, pepper, and hot sauce for simple flavoring. 

Can You Eat Starfish Raw? 

Eating raw starfish can cause food poisoning. Accordingly, it’s recommended to prepare a live starfish and then cook and eat it like you would a lobster.

You must ensure that the starfish you’re going to cook has not been dead for more than twenty-four hours since that can cause stomach problems. 

How To Cook Starfish? 

You can prepare starfish in different ways. The most popular and easy method is to boil it by placing it in salty boiling water for a few minutes and then transferring it to cold water for 15 seconds.

After boiling it, remove it from the water, and break its limbs to eat the greenish-brown flesh inside. 

Deep-fried starfish is also a common street food in China. Once fried, you can eat it whole or break its leg and eat the flesh inside. Another way to cook starfish is by grilling and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Starfish Recipes

Grilled starfish is seemingly easy to make:

  1. Prepare a grill by heating the racks and blasting them with oil.
  2. Brush the fish with oil and season it with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill each side for approximately 5 minutes. 

Is It Safe to Eat Starfish? 

Can you eat starfish? Yes, you can! Starfish is generally safe to consume and provides many beneficial nutrients to the body, provided you thoroughly clean it by removing the stomach and intestines. 

However, some species of starfish are poisonous and can be fatal if eaten, which renders it crucial that you should be careful when consuming a starfish as the poisonous ones can cause dangerous side effects.  

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