Freaky Fish

There’s more to seafood than shrimp and salmon. Get schooled on fresh exotic catch, all available through your fish market.
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Sea cucumbers are displayed for sale at a market stand in the Chinatown district of Bangkok, Thailand.

Sea cucumbers are displayed for sale at a market stand in the Chinatown district of Bangkok, Thailand.

SEA CUCUMBER

Found on the seafloor, this bottom-feeder is long and tubular, like its namesake, with a gelatinous bite and a mild saltiness. Popular in Japan, sea cucumber is often eaten raw as sashimi or salted and dried as konowata.

WHELK

We already know that the land snail (a.k.a. escargot) is a delicacy (vive la France!), but its sea cousin, the whelk (marked by a pointy spiral shell), is also edible. Whelks have a delicate salinity that works well in ceviches and salads.

GEODUCK

Pronounced GOO-ee duck, this marine creature is actually a large saltwater clam native to the Pacific Northwest. It looks plenty funky, but the mollusk offers a clean sweetness and a crisp snap when eaten.

GOOSE BARNACLE

There’s nothing birdlike about this barnacle. Instead, it’s a briny crustacean that grows on sea rocks or on the hulls of sunken ships. Goose barnacles are prized in Spain and Portugal, where they’re harvested from their pointy shells, then boiled until soft and often splashed with wine and olive oil.