What does Starfish Taste like?

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Starfish has long got considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. They have a faint flavor that could taste a little bitter. You cannot consume all types of starfish as some of them contain certain toxins.

Starfish has a mushy texture with a very subtle smell. The taste and flavor of starfish may be tricky to explain in words. These weird, star-shaped organisms having brilliant colors have long piqued our enthusiasm.

Can you comprehend what does starfish taste like by comparing it with others? How do you eat it? Answers to these questions cannot be anything less than exciting.

Do People Eat Starfish

People from different parts of the world eat starfish. You can find these echinoderms sold in streets across China, Japan, and Indonesia. Their hard-calcareous outer layer and bright coloration keep predators away. But these precautions fail to ward off enthusiastic seafood lovers.

You may get surprised that about 2000 types of starfish roam the sea. Some of them have poisons in them. Because of this, you should leave the cooking to experts.

Animals that have the enzyme logisterase can safely digest starfish. As humans cannot produce this enzyme, always take care not to eat them raw. You may need surgical procedures to remove it from your stomach.

The price of starfish can be high compared with other sea creatures. It contains only a little edible part and doesn’t have appealing flavors. But if you can cut loose from expectations, it offers an adventure with food.

What does Starfish Taste like

Starfish has a creamy, ocean-like flavor that may taste bitter. It doesn’t have flashy flavors, but a feeble one. These mysterious critters remind people about beaches or seawater through their taste. The taste of starfish resembles that of sea urchin. You can relate this taste with the edible brain of Chinese river crabs. 

Starfish belong to the Phylum Echinodermata, which includes sea urchins and sand dollars. This fact explains why you can compare their tastes. Starfish conveys a creamier feeling on the tongue than sea urchins. Some people can sense a bitter taste from starfish when others cannot. It depends on your taste buds.

The texture of starfish tissue lies to the softer side. It appears like minced beef with a grayish-green or brown color. When in your mouth, it may feel like toothpaste. In simple terms, the composition will not feel appetizing. Some types of starfish have better flavors than others.

Starfish survive as oceanic predators and can live up to 35 years. Some species come with more than five arms as well. The taste and flavor may depend on the type and size. Some species of starfish contain tetrodotoxins and saponins. People from Indonesia sometimes consume poisonous starfish after squeezing out liquids from them. You must rely on experienced persons to select appropriate, flavorful starfish for consumption.

You can describe starfish as an acquired taste. You may need to taste starfish a couple of times to get a grip on its flavor. It comes with a bony outer part and delicate inner parts. The innards alone form the edible portion. You should have more than one starfish to savor the little flavor it offers.

Fresh and live starfish give the best flavor possible. You can use starfish caught less than 24 hours ago for cooking. They go rigid and lose whatever taste it holds with time. We can summarize that tasting starfish stands as a unique-gutsy exploration. It offers an unparalleled experience through its peculiar taste, texture, and flavor.

How to Cook Starfish

The deep-frying method from China offers a popular way to eat starfish. You can buy them in coastal markets of China exhibited on sticks.

People of Indonesia often use coconut milk for cooking starfish. They cut and squeeze them to get rid of water. Then these get cooked in coconut milk to create a tasty concoction. You can also use sour milk in place of coconut milk.

Another Chinese method of preparing starfish makes use of grills. Starfish seasoned with oil, cayenne, salt, and pepper gets grilled for five minutes. Then they get turned over and cooked again for five more minutes.

The safest way to consume starfish may be to boil them. You can use salt water for this purpose. Boil them for up to eight minutes and then place them in cold water. You can have them after waiting for a few seconds.

In any method given, take care not to eat the hard exoskeleton of starfish. You need to break its legs and eat the tissue inside. The outer layer at the bottom of starfish contains tube feet. These help them to move around. You can break these along the fissure running through the middle of each leg.


Starfish forms an attractive part of street food culture in some countries. Though the idea seems weird, people consume their mushy, almost tasteless inner tissue. The tissue tastes like sea urchins, their close relatives. Most people regard this flavor as an acquired one. You may not appreciate it at first, but only with more experience.

You can eat starfish after crack opening the dense outer part. Different cooking methods exist around the world to relish starfish flavor. Deep frying and boiling stand as the most used ones. As starfish doesn’t taste much, you can use sauces to make it flavorful.

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