Sea urchin is a bizarre food that is loved by many. I and my family members tried it in one vacation.
Magalawa Islands in Palauig, Zambales features tranquil ambiance, which represents the real definition of true nature.
Though the place was filled with controversy because of ownership claims, the place is still recommended for families, especially those with children because of the calm and crystal-clear waters. Mang Mulo and Ate Bing, the caretakers, were quite accommodating and they serve the best foods ever. They will also try to have your request granted.
I tried asking for some oysters. However, that time, harvesting them is not yet recommended. My brother then asked if they can get him some sea urchins… she said yes.
Many Love Sea Urchins
Sea urchins are culinary delicacies around the world. There are a number of edible sea urchins, including those dreaded poisonous black ones with large and hard spines.
The most common type of sea urchins that are eaten from around the world are those with stout body with small non-poisonous spines with colors black, white, purple, blown and many more. The edible part is called the roe or egg, which can be found by cracking the brittle shell.
A bucket of freshly-caught sea urchins only costs us P100. Ate Bing said the common white sea urchins that highly resembles Tripneustes ventricosus with yellow roe inside.
How to Eat Sea Urchin?
At first, we didn’t have the idea on how to eat them until a local passed by and gave us a helping hand. He only used a spoon in cracking the shells and his hands in dividing the whole sea urchin into two. He then uses his finger to spoon the flesh out.
From what it looks it’s easy to open one, but when I tried it, it’s hard. Whenever I try to, I use to break a large portion of the body wasting some of the edible parts. I also didn’t like the idea that there are some substances like moss, seagrasses and even small crabs inside the body. You still have to wash it using running water to clean before eating.
I asked another local how do they eat them, she said just as it is. Or, if you wanted to just put some vinegar and lime then you are good to go. She added that the men in the place will just dive in the deeper waters of the place to get the sea urchins, prepare the gin bulag (most common gin) and the session starts.
To be honest, I am not a fan because I didn’t like that there are some substances that you’ll have to remove before consuming. I also found it too fishy (malansa). I love oysters and can eat them even freshly coming from the ocean. But this? I don’t think so. It’s not that I hate it, I’m not just into it.
We also asked our hosts to grill the remaining sea urchin in our bucket. However, the taste is just the same. When we are about to go home, we just gave the remaining sea urchins to Ate Bing and her family.