What Does Starfish Taste Like?

Have you ever thought about venturing beyond the usual seafood fare? If so, Starfish might just be the next culinary frontier for you. This oceanic delicacy, while not as common as shrimp or salmon, offers a taste experience that’s truly out of the ordinary.

With its salty and briny flavor, Edible types of Starfish might just surprise you. Its semi-solid meat has a tender and creamy texture that’s unlike any other seafood you’ve tried before. But don’t expect it to taste like your typical fish or shellfish starfish has a distinct flavor all its own.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the taste of Starfish. We’ll also explore how to eat it, what parts are edible, and answer some frequently asked questions.

How Do Starfish Taste?

When it comes to the taste of Starfish, think of a flavor that’s reminiscent of the sea. It’s salty, with a hint of brine and a subtle undertone of sweetness. Some people even compare its taste to that of Chinese river crabs or Qingdao sea urchins.

What Does Starfish Taste Like

The meat of the Starfish, which is found inside its legs, is the only edible part. It has a semi-solid consistency that’s tender and creamy. This texture, combined with its distinctive flavor, makes eating Starfish a unique culinary experience.

However, it’s important to note that the taste of Starfish can be quite subjective. Some people find it slightly bitter, while others detect a faint saltiness.

What Does Starfish Compare With?

Starfish has a unique flavor profile but can be compared to a few other seafood delicacies. Here are some that come close:

  • Sea Urchins: Both starfish and sea urchins have a briny, ocean-like flavor. They also share a similar texture, being tender and slightly creamy.
  • Chinese River Crabs: Some people find the taste of Starfish to be similar to these freshwater crustaceans. They both have a subtle sweetness underlying their primary flavors.
  • Oysters: The salty, briny taste of Starfish can be compared to that of oysters. However, oysters tend to have a more pronounced sea-like flavor.
  • Scallops: While Starfish doesn’t taste exactly like scallops, they both have a tender and slightly sweet flavor profile.

Remember, while these comparisons can give you an idea of what Starfish might taste like, the experience of eating Starfish is unique and can vary from person to person.

How To Eat Starfish

Eating Starfish is not as straightforward as other kinds of seafood, but it’s an experience worth trying. The edible part of a starfish is the meat inside its legs. If consumed, the outer shell, feet, and skin are not edible and can be poisonous, depending on the species. Here are a few ways Starfish is served:

On a Stick

dried starfish on a stick

In some parts of the world, particularly in street food markets in China, Starfish is often served on a stick. The Starfish is boiled and then served whole. The consumer cracks open the hard outer shell to get to the edible meat inside the legs. It’s a hands-on, messy eating experience, but it’s part of the fun.

As a Snack

In some coastal regions, Starfish is dried and eaten as a snack. The drying process intensifies the flavor of the Starfish, making it a unique and tasty treat.

In Soups

abalone starfish soup

Starfish can also be used as an ingredient in soups. The Starfish is cleaned and boiled, and the meat from the legs is extracted and added to the soup. It adds a unique flavor to the soup, making it a special dish for seafood lovers.

Remember, if you’re going to try Starfish, make sure it’s prepared properly. The outer parts of the Starfish are not edible and can be harmful if consumed. Always ensure that you’re eating Starfish from a reliable source where it’s been prepared correctly.

How To Buy Starfish

Buying Starfish can be a bit of a challenge, as it’s not a common item in most grocery stores or seafood markets. However, if you’re in a region where Starfish is consumed, such as certain parts of Asia, you might find it in local markets or specialty seafood stores. Here are some tips on what to look for when buying Starfish:


Like any seafood, freshness is key when buying Starfish. Look for Starfish that have a fresh, ocean-like smell. Avoid Starfish that have a strong, fishy odor, as this could indicate that they’re not fresh.


Starfish should have a vibrant color, and their skin should be free from spots, discoloration, or signs of damage. The legs should be intact and not broken or damaged.


It’s important to buy Starfish from a reliable source. Make sure the vendor is reputable and follows proper handling and storage procedures for seafood. If you’re unsure, asking about their sourcing and handling practices is always a good idea.

Restaurant vs. Market

If you’re new to eating Starfish, you might want to try it at a restaurant first. Chefs who are familiar with preparing Starfish will know how to cook it properly and bring out its unique flavor. Once you’ve tried it and decided you like it, you can consider buying it from a market and preparing it at home.

Other Names

Starfish may also be called “sea stars” in some markets or regions. Don’t be confused by the name. It’s the same creature.

Remember, always ensure that you’re buying Starfish from a trusted source and that it’s been handled and stored properly to ensure its freshness and safety.

Starfish FAQs

Are Starfish Poisonous?

Certain species in their entirety, such as the crown-of-thorn Starfish, are poisonous and dangerous to consume. While others, a starfish’s outer parts, including its hard skin, feet, and shell, are not edible and can be poisonous if consumed. Again, getting your Starfish from a reputable seller or restaurant is very important.

What Part of a Starfish is Edible?

The only edible part of edible Starfish is the meat inside its legs. This meat has a semi-solid consistency and a unique salty and briny flavor. The outer shell, feet, and skin are not edible and can be harmful if consumed.

Is It Illegal to Take a Starfish from the Ocean?

The legality of taking Starfish from the ocean depends on local laws and regulations. In some places, it may be illegal or require a permit. It’s always best to check with local authorities or wildlife agencies.

How Do You Cook and Eat Starfish?

Starfish can be boiled and served whole, with the consumer cracking open the hard outer shell to get to the edible meat inside. It can also be used as an ingredient in soups or dried and eaten as a snack. Always ensure that Starfish is prepared correctly, as the outer parts are not edible and can be harmful if consumed.

About Justin Micheal

Hey, I’m Justin and the home cook behind Food Meets Flavor. I have a passion for cooking and making food delicious. So, I started this blog to help others understand what different types of food taste like and how to make everyday meals taste even better.