Posts Tagged ‘grilled jellyfish’

Actually Eating Jellyfish

Monday, September 28th, 2009

(Michael Berrill,

When I reserved this domain name several years ago, I thought the idea of eating jellyfish was absurd. Jellyfish are about 98% water – if one washes up in the intertidal, it dries in the sun in a few hours to a thin layer of scum. Not a mouth watering image.

It turns out that jellyfish have been eaten for a long time in Asia – and that they can be purchased from Thai and Chinese specialty markets around the world, including the US and Canada. The 2% of a jellyfish that isn’t water is all protein – but that surely is small return.

This has growing importance because of the huge schools of jellyfish that have increasingly accumulated each year around the world’s coastlines over the past few decades. Where overfishing occurs, especially in combination with areas where rivers dump excessive nutrients into coastal waters, ultimately depleting oxygen levels, jellyfish thrive. They don’t need much oxygen, and they can become the top predators in the ecosystem.

Eating them begins to look more and more like an idea whose time has come.

Jellyfish is usually sold already well dehydrated – it then just needs to be soaked overnight, rinsed, dried some more, and then shredded to add to salads or mixed with vegetables. One recipe just calls for lightly grilling the dried pieces – well seasoned of course, for straight jellyfish has little – no? – taste.

Grilled jellyfish (

Grilled jellyfish (

Not all species have a market, but many of the larger species have potential. The cannonball jellyfish, Stomolophus meleagris, quite common along the Florida and Gulf of Mexico coasts, is a good example – some are now caught, dried and shipped to China and Japan. Who knew?

Cannonball jellyfish (

Cannonball jellyfish (

For some recipes, check

Jellyfish chips with your beer?