Can you eat starfish?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “Can you eat starfish?”  and other queries related to this topic.

Can you eat starfish? 

Yes, you can eat starfish that is high in nutrients needed for good body functioning. Generally, shellfish is very high in protein but it is a very expensive product. However, starfish should be cooked before being consumed because it can be detrimental to health if eaten raw. 

In addition, only the meat of the starfish can be consumed. So, the outer part of the starfish is not edible, thus only a small portion of this fish can be consumed by people after cooking it. This type of dish is commonly consumed in China and Japan as in some other Asian countries.

Despite being legal and fine to cook and consume starfish in some countries in the world but in other countries fishing and consuming starfish is illegal. Regarding the taste, some people said it has a bitter taste, others said it tastes like ocean water and few said it has no taste.

So, it is recommended to add some flavor and sauces to enhance the taste of the meat. Moreover, few people describe the texture as creamy, moist, and mushy since it lives in the seawater whereas others said that its texture feels like ground beef or toothpaste.

Also, the texture of the meat might depend on the way you cooked your meat. The color of the meat of the starfish is gray. So, to reach the meat inside the legs thus eating it, you need to break the legs of the starfish since the outer layer is inedible. 

What is a starfish?

Starfish is an invertebrate animal that lives in the sea which means that they do not have bones like regular fish. There are more than 1500 species of starfish present in the oceans and the sea. So, the sizes and weights of the starfish depend on their species.

The most known shape of starfish is the one with 5 legs. However, some starfish have ten, twenty, or even forty legs. The outer and rigid layer protects the starfish from predators in the sea. Moreover, some starfish species have camouflage properties for protection. 

Starfish have many different colors including red, orange, black, blue, brown, and grey. This also depends on the type and the species of the shellfish. Besides, starfish can regenerate their body or legs because their vital organs are located in their legs. 

Also, starfish do not have a brain to sense or blood. So, it has a hydraulic water vascular system that helps them move in the seawater. In addition, starfish have eyespots at the end of each leg that help them detect the dark and the light. 

Moreover, the legs of the starfish have sensory spots that help them detect odors. These fish can reproduce sexually and asexually and they can live up to 35 years. In addition, they are predators since they eat snails and bivalves as well as some microalgae.

What type of starfish can you eat?

Several types of starfish are safe to eat whereas some others are harmful and poisonous if consumed. Three of the most harmful types include sun star, leather star, and thorns star. So, these types of starfish should be completely avoided. 

These poisonous starfish contain two chemical compounds: saponins and tetrodotoxins. These chemicals are life-threatening if ingested by humans. However, in some counties in the world like Indonesia, poisonous and non-poisonous starfish are consumed.

How can I cook starfish?

There are many different ways to cook starfish but one of the most used methods is boiling the starfish in salty water for about fifteen minutes. When boiling is done, the starfish is transferred into a bowl filled with cold water and ice to stop the cooking process.

So, after about fifteen seconds remove the starfish from the cold water, break its legs and eat the meat inside the hard shell. Moreover, starfish can be deep-fried. This method of consumption is very common as street food in China. 

All you need to do is to place about two to three starfish in a deep-fryer and keep it for around ten minutes. When the time is up, remove the starfish from the oil and put it in a bowl of cold water for fifteen seconds. Next, remove it, break the legs of the starfish and enjoy the meat.

Furthermore, to prepare your starfish it is better if it is alive. But if you can not find it like that you can prepare your dish using a starfish that has died for less than 24 hours. Because after they die the meat of the starfish will be tough with time.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can you eat starfish?” and other queries related to this topic.


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