Namako – Sea cucumber
Some time ago we came across this on the supermarket:
I had no idea what it was, but it turns out that it is a quite common marine animal. In fact, some weeks after seeing it at the supermarket, I was snorkeling in Thailand and saw many of them in their natural habitat. In Japanese language it is known as namako (海鼠, 海: sea, 鼠: rat. Sea rat!) and it is usually eaten raw as sashimi or sushi. In English it is known as sea cucumber, because of its shape; which translates into Spanish as pepino de mar.
“They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide.”
“Sea cucumbers communicate with each other through sending hormone signals through the water which others pick up.”
“They can be found in great numbers on the deep sea floor, where they often make up the majority of the animal biomass. At depths deeper than 5.5 mi (8.8 km), sea cucumbers comprise 90% of the total mass of the macrofauna.” More in wikipedia
Would you eat a raw namako?