American Oceans

Can You Eat a Sand Dollar and How Does It Taste? 

A sand dollar is always an exciting find when searching the beach for treasures. They’re round with a hallmark star symbol that’s not easy to miss.

Sand dollar on beach

Believe it or not, they are living creatures and belong to the Echinarachnius parma family, close relatives to the sea urchin and starfish.

Of course, we all love to look at these iconic beauties of the sea, but one may wonder, can you eat a sand dollar? 

Do People Eat Sand Dollars and Is It Safe?

So, do people eat sand dollars, and is it safe to eat them? The short answer is yes, but it’s not common.

Alive sand dollar

Sand dollars are safe to eat, and sometimes you’ll find sushi bars in Japan that serve it, but it’s not common practice.

Like other shellfish, they are safe to eat if you don’t have a shellfish allergy, but it’s a rare find. 

What Does It Taste Like?

Sand dollar tastes similar to sea urchin, it’s fishy tasting but lacks flavor. Most people that eat sand dollar would eat it in sushi or dipped in soy sauce and other dips that accompany seafood. 

Can You Eat Sand Dollar Raw?

Although you can eat sand dollars raw, it is not recommended. Unlike other types of fish and shellfish that are eaten raw, a sand dollar does not have a rich taste, so if eaten raw, it would be rather bland.

Living Sand Dollar

If you do choose to eat sand dollar, it would taste better cooked and blended with other flavors. 

How To Cook Sand Dollar

When cooking sand dollars, you would prepare it much like you would prepare shrimp. It must first be taken from its distinctive star-studded shell and then marinated in some form of salty sauce mixture.

After marinating for a few hours, you can then toss it in some olive oil and lemon juice and saute it with veggies. You can also wrap it in seaweed for a cooked sushi-type meal. 

Sand Dollar Recipes

The most common way to eat sand dollars is in sushi, so recipes for sushi that use other types of seafood can always be swapped for a sand dollar instead.

White sand dollar

Finding a sand dollar recipe that’s not for sushi, however, will prove to be challenging because it is so rare. Most people don’t want to put in the effort and time it takes to catch and shell them for the little amount of meat they provide. 

Is It Safe to Eat Sand Dollars? 

Is it safe to eat sand dollars? Yes, it is safe to eat this iconic relic of the sea, but it certainly is not common. They are difficult to find, and the amount of food you get from each one is so little that it just isn’t worth the time and effort.

Instead of eating sand dollars, try other forms of shellfish, such as shrimp, oysters, or clams. These are much easier to find and provide more meat than what a sand dollar has. 

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