Weird Seafood
December 09th, 2008 38 Comments

Weird Seafood

While Asia is the best place to savor some of the freshest seafood, I encountered some weird ones recently in Sai Kung, Hong Kong (a mecca for seafood lovers).

Sea CucumberAlive, moving and slimy feeling sea cucumber. I have tasted dried sea cucumber, but not a slug like this…(view more weird and creepy sea creatures after the jump. WARNING: they are not pleasant)

Star FishI haven’t seen anyone eating this in Malaysia, but fresh star fish is a delicacy in Hong Kong and China.

Star Fish Another star fish but this one looks like many snakes coiled together. Gross!

OctupusThese octopuses (cuttlefish?) are supposed to be great for sashimi, but their looks creep me out.

Horseshoe CrabHorseshoe crab. You eat the roes beneath the hard shell but the alien-like and evil-looking shell reminded me of Darth Vader somehow.

What are the weirdest seafood you have eaten?

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38 comments... read them below or add one

  1. afhstingray says:

    the plural of octopus is octopi i think..

    i had seahorse in hong kong…

  2. Anonymous says:

    The snake-like star fish looks disgusting. I saw a TV program where the travel host was forced to eat fried star fish in Beijing. Yuck.

  3. Ronny says:

    I think the “octopi” are actually cuttlefish. Octopuses have longer tentacles.

    PS. The New American Oxford Dictionary in my Mac says the correct plural form of “octopus” is “octopuses”, not “octopi”.

  4. Vicki says:

    I was craving sushi, but not any more. Those things are scary! :)

  5. Selina says:

    The weirdest seafood I’ve eaten certainly doesn’t beat the ones on this post, but may look creepy to some folks – this would be geoduck! It’s actually quite tasty :)

  6. Joanne says:

    Yewwww…. They really look yucky when alive huh~ just imagine when they creeping on your hand, ohhhh… the feeling must be horrible. I have hold and touched the sea cucumber before, alive and fresh from the sea bed, tell you what, you have to becareful as the sea cucumbers will splash water onto you, yes, they were hard and fill with water before they release it to you and become saggy, ha ha ha….

  7. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    I just watch the new episode of Bizarre Foods where Andrew goes to Japan, so these photos don’t look all that gross. Sea Cucumber sashimi as actually pretty good (I prefer it to the cooked kind). I think that picture in the middle might be cuttlefish. Never had starfish or horseshoe crab though.

  8. Young Werther says:

    Interesting blog. The weirdest named is the Balmain Bug (looks like a large flat head prawn).

  9. Cinnamon says:

    I’ve actually eaten sea cucumber at Katsu in Chicago. The chef tried to talk us out of ordering it since we weren’t Japanese but we insisted. He had marinated it in a special orange vinagrette-like sauce and it was slightly steamed but very delicious. Similar texture to octopus, but a more briney taste with a little green salty flavor.

  10. worldwindows says:

    There is a type of blue crab (sea) that has a large inscription like a cross on the middle top shell. For a number of years people will not eat according to the restauranteur. Check it out at

  11. Manggy says:

    Hmm, we serve sea cucumbers here too but I don’t think I’ve had any– or any echinoderms for that matter :) I don’t think my seafood tastes are too adventurous– octopus is the only weird one I’ve tried!

  12. ChichaJo says:

    I don’t think I have eaten any seafood as weird as these ones here! I have eaten sea cucumber before but have never seen one live (yikes!). I think the weirdest sea creature I have eaten would be what we call alupihan dagat which I think is called mantis shrimp in HK :)

  13. Cynthia says:

    I was just going to comment on how brave you are holding all the fish but then I realised that they are not your hands :)

  14. mycookinghut says:

    Sea cucumbers are yummy…

  15. Shreela says:

    I went on a fishing tour in Mexico, and they let us dive for starfish, but we didn’t eat them. Next they let us dive for conch, but I was too tired from diving for 2 starfish, and wasn’t able to get my own conch.

    But the boat employees did this daily, so they brought up lots of conch. They’d pull out a long stringy piece from it, it looked slimy, then they held it up for me to take it, and I didn’t know I was supposed to eat it LOL, so they ate it instead, and we all grossed out (because we were all US, and didn’t eat raw fish haha).

    Then they took us deep sea fishing and we all caught a big fish — no marlins though — with their help, then they cooked everything on an island. We did eat the conch then, because they cooked it on the island.

    Later on, when we went back to the big island our hotel was on, we did eat cerviche, which is raw, but soaked in lime juice. They told us lime juice (or acid actually) kills bacteria.

    Maybe if they had soaked that long worm-looking part of the conch in lime juice, I might have tried it 8^)

  16. Danielle says:

    not the star fish RUN PATRICK RUN!

  17. Piggy says:

    While I have eaten dried sea cucumber many times, I’ve not seen a live one. It certainly looks gross to me.

    I’ve bought cuttlefish once here in SA, and other than its yucky look, the cleaning part was a nightmare as well. :-P

  18. Indonesia-Eats says:

    I think teripang or it’s called Sea Cucumbers. They are delicacy food in East Java.

  19. Ben says:

    The weirdest seafood I’ve eaten certainly doesn’t beat the ones on this post, but may look creepy to some folks – this would be geoduck! It’s actually quite tasty :)

    Is that a pokemon? Actually, I bet pokemon could be pretty tasty.

  20. Passionate Eater says:

    I would say sea cucumber for me. I also think that shark fin and snails can be weird, and I eat those when I can.

  21. Stingray says:

    actually we’re both right…from wiki:

    The octopus (pronounced /ˈɒktəpəs/, from Greek ὀκτώπους, ‘eight-footed’,[1] with plural forms: octopuses [ˈɒktəpʊsɪz], octopi [ˈɒktəpaɪ], or octopodes [ˌɒkˈtəʊpədiːz],


    pics of tasty animals making me hungry again lol…

  22. Salt N Turmeric says:

    I think in Malay sea cucumber is gamat. Apart from medicical purposes, I dont think iv had it in any of my meals and Id like it to stay that way. lol.

  23. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Sea cucumber makes me tremble! It looks soooo unpleasant! I totally freak out when I think that it can be eaten ;-P…



  24. Nate-n-Annie says:

    I think the weirdest thing I’ve eaten would have to be horseshoe crab. Not to fond of that roe.

  25. "Joe" who is constantly craving says:

    wow..makes geoduck seem so normal..

  26. jamie says:

    my grandma’s sea cucumber in tau eu bak is THE best !!!!!!!!!!!! man i wanna go home n eat her tau eu bak.. if only its not miles n miles away..

  27. LV says:

    They look quite cute, actually!

  28. Alexie says:

    There are 3 forms for the plural of octopus and they octopuses, octopi, and octopodes. Octupi is correct though octopuses are the most common.

  29. Myf says:

    um, turtles? seafood too right?

    i personally think i’ll stick with the normal seafood items.

  30. Virgil says:

    I’ve had some rather strange snail-like critters that have long, skinny, twisted shells. Tasted a bit like whelks, which are also a bit peculiar. Sea cumcumber sushi is very good, actually, though I don’t want to be the one preparing it.

    I think horseshoe crabs are about the only thing I would not touch for any amount of money. Will never forget the first one I ever saw. I was in a tuk-tuk in Bangkok, the driver stopped at a stall in a street market, hopped out, and came back with one of the things – alive – which he put in a sort of harness that he’d hung from a control on the dashboard… It looked for all the world like some kind of prehistoric fossil. Weird in the extreme. And not something I’d put on my table.

  31. Sujan P says:

    But the good thing is they really have all kinds of weird fishes , all kind of weird seafood..
    even one that looked like the guy “uhm uhm”.

    I had a fun time exploring the seafood and wondering who the hell will eat the live… “guy reproduction system lookalike” seafood.

    With it crawling and twirling around…… i couldnt even bear the sight of looking at it.. dont say eating it. EEEW

  32. TTimmy says:

    How do they prepare the Starfish? Aside from deep frying to a crisp, I can’t imagine what kind of dish you can make with them…

  33. Lucy L says:

    I am so happy you cam to my home town Sai Kung! =)
    There are lots of weird and strange looking seafood in Sai Kung, and although i’ve not tried all of it, i love looking at them still in the tank. I don’t think i fancy starfish sashimi either, and fyi, i’ve tried sea cucumber’s many times before (forced by my parents) and have never like it, urgh. it’s supposed to be very good for your skin though as it has high collagen levels.

  34. Fathom says:

    I haven’t eaten real cuttlefish, but Taiwan snack foods with dried cuttlefish as a flavouring, its soooo good.

  35. Ginny says:

    I’ll try anything as long as it’s dead.

  36. marlo says:

    This should be called Cruel seafood. Seriously why do we need to kill and eat Everything and Asians are the worst when it comes to having any sense of compassion for living things. For most people on this forum Eating the animals on this list is for fun and to try something new – no one here is eating starfish to survive – and if you want to call me out for being culturally insensitive go for it – I don’t really care for cultures that are so insensitive that they will eat a living creature while it is still alive. Finally if you comment about Americans eating beef / pork / etc. I’m a vegetarian so – moot point.

    • Vegetables have lives, too. The human race feeds on seafood and animals since the beginning of time, so I don’t see why eating seafood is a sin. This post is about the weird seafood I saw, it has nothing to do with animal cruelty.

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