Had some sea cucumber left after making Braised Sea Cucumber and Mushrooms earlier. Thought I would make Stir Fried Sea Cucumber this time so you can see how versatile it is. The sea cucumber is soft and gelatinous when braised but it is springy with a bite when stir-fried.
We don’t really eat sea cucumber all the time so it’s only during special occasions like Chinese New Year period that I will buy some to cook.
There are many different types of sea cucumber out there that come in fresh, frozen or dried forms. All are priced according to their species – whether they are of a premium grade or not. Well, I’m not really an expert in sea cucumbers but I’ve come across cheap ones that will just dissolve during the process of cooking. Apparently, these sea cucumbers are treated with too much chemicals. So when you’re buying sea cucumbers, make sure you’re getting them from a reliable source. The fresh ones from major supermarkets or wet markets here in Singapore are generally good. I normally get Tiger sea cucumbers from Philippines via Seafood Shifu on Qoo10 which are good for stir frying, braising and for steamboat too.
Expensive sea cucumbers (especially dried ones from Chinese medicine halls or dried good shops) do not necessarily mean they are better than the lower-priced ones. Sea cucumbers generally do not have much taste or flavour of their own. Whether a sea cucumber dish is well received really depends on individual style and method of cooking because the sea cucumber will absorb the flavour of the sauce or soup that it is cooked in.
For this stir fry recipe, I’ve added a lot of other ingredients so it’s pretty much a dish on its own which you can pair with steamed rice if you like. Nothing too complicated. Just need the usual Chinese seasonings. It’s quick and really easy to make. ??
- 1 pc firm tofu (tau kwa), cut into cubes, fried or oven-baked till golden brown
- 12 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water, stems removed & halved
- 1 large squid, cleaned & sliced
- 8 prawns, shelled with tails intact
- 400g sea cucumber, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled & sliced
- 150g sugar snap peas
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water