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“Namako” (in Japanese) has all kinds of English (and not so English) names: seslug, sea cucumber, trepang, beche de mer. The Chinese have always been a bit crazy about them inciting Europeans to trade them as far back as the 17th Century. The Chinese themselves have made themselves somewhat notorious for ollegal catching in Japanese seas…
They come in various colopurs (the red one is the most popular) and names: “manamako”, “Akako”, and “Kaiso”.
They are caught all along the Japanese shores.
Numazu Harbour in Shizuoka Prefecture is renown for its catches in winter, the best season as far as taste is concerned.
There are many ways to prepare it:
“Namasu” or namako pickled in vinegar and 2Namako Chaburi” are the most popular ways, but many people appreciate them cut in raw slices.
Even the insides/innards are appreciated under the name of “konowata” and are usually served as “gunkan” style sushi.