So last week my best friend, the very same one who took me to eat intestines, rectum and raw liver (you’d think I’d have learned by now…), invited me to her house for dinner. As well as cooking the most amazing 목살 (pork neck meat) I’ve ever eaten, she also served up the not quite so amazing dish of sea squirts.
They look like something you shouldn’t eat, they smell like something you shouldn’t eat, and they taste like something you shouldn’t eat. Whoever first thought to eat a sea squirt was most likely insane. Apparently they’re very high in nutrients and are great for a hangover, but then Koreans say that about pretty much anything that you otherwise wouldn’t even consider eating. Personally I can’t imagine anything worse to try and eat when you’ve got a hangover, it’s certainly no bacon sandwich.
The ‘trick’ to eating sea squirts, she told me, is to pop the whole thing in your mouth, and chew it a few times until you feel the soft part burst and then spit the shell out again. It tastes like a revolting concoction of rubber, ammonia, brine and the seabed. The yellowy orange stuff in the photo is the flesh of the sea squirts, and it looks and feels like eating a massive, salty bogey. Sorry, but there’s literally nothing else I can think to compare it to.
So, put down the chopsticks and back away from the sea squirts.