Trepang (holothurian) is a marine invertebrate belonging to the class of echinoderms. The habitat extends from the northern coast of the Kuril Islands and the waters of southern Sakhalin to the Central Region of the Republic of China (Hong Kong). Holothurians prefer storm-protected bays with mudflats and stony deposits. In the people, these animals are called "sea cucumbers" or "pods", because when irritated they shrink, turning into a "pimple" ball.

protein structures, organic acids and mineral salts. Due to the unique combination of nutrients, the product has a tonic, immune-strengthening and bactericidal effect on the body. In addition to the most valuable pharmacological properties, holothurian meat has a special piquant flavor (reminiscent of a sturgeon chord with a pronounced marine note). It is the nutritional qualities that distinguish this delicacy from a number of other seafood.

The structure of the trepang

The trepang is a unique inhabitant of the water world, outwardly similar to a huge furry caterpillar. The holothurian has an elongated oval body, on the ventral side of which there is a mouth with ambulacral legs (tentacles). With the help of these processes, the animal captures and grinds the nutrient substrate (from the ground). The number of tentacles in trepang varies from 10 to 30 pieces. The skin of the mollusk is covered with a large number of calcareous formations (spicules). In addition, on its dorsal surface there are soft cone-shaped outgrowths with white "spikes".

The color of the "pod" varies from light gray to dark brown (depending on the habitat and species of the animal). So, “green” forms of trepangs are found on muddy ground, “red” ones on pebble or reef ground, and “blue” ones (albinos) on sandy (coastal) ones.

Standard parameters of a marine life: width - 3-4 cm, length - 13-15 cm, weight - 0.7-0.8 kg. Along with this, both very tiny individuals (0.5 cm in size) and giant representatives of the echinoderm family (exceeding 50 cm in length) are found in nature. The mass of small trepangs is 0.02-0.03 kg, and large ones - 1.5-3 kg.

A distinctive feature of holothurians is their ability to regenerate. If a sea cucumber is cut into three parts and thrown into the water, the lost part of the body (legs, spines, tentacles,internal organs) will recover over time. In this case, each segment of the animal is transformed into a separate living organism. The duration of the recovery period is from 3 to 7 months. In addition, trepangs have an amazing ability to change the elasticity of the walls of the body.

So, when life is threatened (from predators), their body becomes rigid, and when they need to hide in hard-to-reach places, it becomes soft.

Behavioral features

The sea cucumber is a benthic sedentary animal sensitive to a decrease in the salt composition of water. Holothuria feels great in marine and oceanic environments, where the concentration of mineral residues (including sodium chloride) reaches 0.033 - 0.035 kg per 1 liter. The least favorable for it are water bodies with an intermediate level of salinity (0.02 kg per 1 liter). With further desalination, the marine animal dies (due to irreversible changes in the body).

According to the type of food, trepangs are classified as collecting detritophages (animals that eat decaying biomaterials that settle on the ground). Together with phytoplankton, holothurians consume a large amount of sea sand (due to which their belly is 70% full of earth). After digestion of the "feed", the soil is naturally brought out. Considering that the sand is poor in useful substances, in order to satisfy the physiological needs, the mollusk has to pass through itself enormous volumes of silt. For a year of life, trepang consumes 30-35 kg of sea soil. At the same time, in the spring period of the year, its digestive activity is twice as high as in summer and autumn.

It is important for holothurians to move a lot in order to feed themselves. To move the animal uses ambulacral legs, which "work" like a "caterpillar". First, the trepang pulls up the rear tentacles, firmly sticking them to the ground, then sends a wave of muscle contractions in front of it. After that, he tears off the middle leg from the sand, “throwing out” the front part of the body forward. Interestingly, trepangs, unlike fish, are able to assess the concentration of food in different parts of the seabed (using sensitive receptors). If the plankton "lies" in deep layers of soil, the mollusk gets to it by digging a hole. Animals pass through the areas of the bottom that are poor in food quickly, collecting nutrient particles from its surface layer.

Sea-pods live in large colonies, forming "trepang fields". Moreover, in calm weather, they massively crawl out onto muddy-sandy areas (next to stone cliffs), and in stormy weather they hide on solid ground in rock crevices and root thickets of algae.

Sea cucumbers are resistant to temperature fluctuations in water bodies. They withstand from minus 5 degrees to 28 degrees abovezero. If a holothurian is frozen into ice and then gradually thawed, it will survive.

The average life expectancy of a sea cucumber is 10 years.


Trepangs, especially those from the Far East, are highly prolific. In one spawning period, an individual can lay 65-75 million eggs. These mollusks are dioecious, but it is difficult to distinguish them by external signs. During the mating season, they form pairs, crawling onto a near-water hill (cliffs of rocks, clusters of mussels, stone cliffs, rhizomes of algae). After fertilization, holothurians attach their hind legs to the substrate. At the same time, they raise the front part of the body up, taking an S-shaped "spawning" posture. The timing of reproduction directly depends on the habitat. Mating of mollusks living off the southern coast of Japan begins in May, in the Yellow Sea - in June, and in Peter the Great Bay - in July-August.

The duration of spawning is 1-3 days. After spawning, exhausted sea cucumbers crawl into shelters and fall into "hibernation". Animals are in a state of "stupor" for 1-1.5 months. Then they come out of their hiding places, starting to feed heavily.

In larvae, after 3 weeks of planktonic life, rudiments of 5 tentacles appear around the mouth (pentactula stage). Thanks to these processes, they settle on the thalli of grasses and algae, turning into full-fledged fry. Young holothurians usually have 3-4 outgrowths on the back and 5-6 legs on the abdomen. As the fry grows, the number of tentacles increases, and the body acquires a characteristic "worm-like" shape. By the end of the first year of life, trepangs reach a length of 4-5 cm, and by the end of the second summer - 13-15 cm. Puberty in young individuals occurs in the third year of life.

Chemical composition

Holothuria is a useful dietary product, 100 grams of which contains 34 kilocalories.


However, despite the low energy performance, trepang has a high nutritional value (due to the high content of protein, bacterial components, micro and macro elements).

The concentration of proteins in the tissues of trepang varies between 8-10% of body weight. At the same time, most of the composition of the protein fraction is occupied by collagen-like structures. These substances are distinguished by a high concentration of free amino acids ( glycine, proline, arginine, lysine, threonine, aspartic acid ).

Table No. 1 "Nutritional value of trepang"
Components Element content in 100 grams of sea cucumber, grams
Water 89.4
Proteins 7.3
Mono- and disaccharides 2.2
Fats 0.6
Ash 0.3
Starch 0.2
Organic acids 0.06
minerals in holothurian tissues”
Name Nutrient content in 100 grams of product, milligram
Ascorbic acid (C) 5.4
Tocopherol (E) 4.2
Folic acid (B9) 4.2
Niacin (B3) 1.4
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.07
Thiamine (B1) 0.02
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.02
Riboflavin (B2) 0.01
Biotin (H) 0.0002
Potassium 72.6
Sulfur 70
Magnesium 49
Calcium 48
Phosphorus 20
Trace elements
Iron 2
Cobalt 1.1
Zinc 0.18
Iodine 0.07
Manganese 0.05
Bohr 0.044
Copper 0.019
Chrome ] 0.0004

structural components of plants-immunomodulators: ginseng, eleutherococcus, zamaniha). Thanks to these compounds, mollusk meat has bactericidal, hemolytic,cytotoxic, antitumor and immunocorrective properties.

Because of its unique chemical composition, trepang is called "sea ginseng" in China.

Usefulness of the product

The healing properties of trepang have been known to mankind since time immemorial. However, information about its medicinal value of the product penetrated into Europe only at the end of the 16th century (from the culture of ancient China). Healers of oriental medicine used an extract from the mollusk as a powerful stimulant and tonic. In addition, the imperial dynasties of China used trepang infusion as a rejuvenating elixir (to prolong the period of reign). Interestingly, in ancient times, such drugs were treated as miraculous sources of vitality.

Currently, the medicinal value of trepang has been confirmed by numerous experimental and clinical studies. Considering that animal tissues contain more than 200 nutritional components, bioactive compositions and complexes are made on its basis. The main effects of such drugs are stimulating, healing, antiviral, antioxidant, immunomodulating, hematopoietic, and hypotensive. To improve the body, you can use both ready-made store-bought mixtures and drugs created at home.

Preparation of medicinal tincture (with honey ):

  1. Remove skin and entrails from a fresh carcass. If dried mollusk is used, it is pre-soaked in cold water for 10-12 hours.
  2. Cut prepared meat into small pieces. If desired, you can use a meat grinder.
  3. Place the crushed raw materials in a glass or clay container.
  4. Pour the meat with natural honey (so that it covers the fillet), mix the mixture thoroughly.
  5. Insist in a cool dark place for 1-1.5 months.

Properly prepared medicine has a dark saturated color and a thick consistency (heterogeneous).

How to take tincture of sea cucumbers?

For medicinal purposes, the mixture is taken twice a day, 15 ml, 20 minutes before meals. The duration of therapy is 1 month. Three weeks later, the drug is resumed (if necessary).

For preventive purposes, the composition is used in the fall before the cold season and in the spring to strengthen immunity (5 ml three times a day). However, in the first week of therapy, the size of a single serving should not exceed 15 drops (due to the powerful stimulating effect). In addition, while taking trepang extract, it is important to control heart rate and blood pressure. If necessary, consume at nightsedative (to relieve nervous excitement). Therefore, it is recommended to use this composition in the morning.

Effects of using trepang infusions (subject to the regimen):

  • strengthens the immune system, increases the body's resistance to pathogens;
  • stabilizes blood pressure;
  • normalizes lipid and cholesterol metabolism;
  • improves visual acuity;
  • stimulates the regeneration of damaged tissues;
  • reduces the level of sugar in the blood;
  • stimulates male potency;
  • improves thyroid function;
  • increases vitality;
  • accelerates the removal of carcinogens from the body;
  • reduces the intensity of inflammatory processes (in the focus);
  • improves psycho-emotional background;
  • has an antibacterial effect;
  • increases the antitumor defense of the body, slows down the growth of neoplasms.

Along with oral intake, trepang extract is used for the outer integument of the body. Namely, for the treatment of skin rashes, rinsing the mouth (after dental interventions), instillation of the nose, lubrication of the walls of the vagina.

Remember, trepang extract should not be used for hyperthyroidism and allergies to bee and marine products.

How to cook a delicacy?

Trepangs are excellent for all types of cooking: boiling, stewing, baking, marinating and salting. The muscular membrane of the animal, freed from the skin and viscera, is used for food. On the basis of sea cucumber, both independent snacks (cold and hot), and multi-component side dishes, marinades, dressings and first courses are prepared. Trepang meat is combined with all seafood, spicy sauces, onions, tomato paste, vegetables.

Holothuria is marketed mainly in dried or frozen form. Let's consider how to properly cook the mollusk.

Preparatory step:

  1. Rinse the carcasses under running water (to wash off the charcoal powder).
  2. Soak meat in fresh liquid for 24 hours. At the same time every 3-4 hours to change the water.
  3. Rinse soaked carcasses, pour new liquid, put on the stove.
  4. Boil the clam meat for 60 seconds over low heat, then remove from heat, leave in a decoction (for 20 hours).
  5. Drain the used fluid. Gut half-finished carcasses.
  6. Rinse the butchered product with cold water and then weld again for 60 seconds on low
  7. Infuse trepang in the original liquid for 20 hours (repeatedly).

If after a two-day processing cycle the meat is hard (with an unpleasant iodine odor), the cooking process is repeated (for 3-7 days). After softening, the product is placed in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. The full processing cycle of dried sea cucumbers takes from 2 to 7 days (depending on the degree of contamination).

When using frozen carcasses, they are pre-thawed on the top shelf of the refrigerator or in warm water (at a temperature of 10-15 degrees). Then the raw material is cut and washed under running water. After that, the product is boiled in several changes of liquid (3-6 times). This process is repeated until the broth stops turning black (due to the high iodine content). The time of each treatment should not exceed 5-8 minutes. After cooking, the meat is washed under cold water (until completely cooled), and then placed in the refrigerator. At the same time, they monitor the cleanliness of the dishes, since when in contact with fats, the product quickly deteriorates.

The period of storage of sea cucumbers at a temperature from 0 to + 5 degrees is 3-4 days. To increase the shelf life (up to 2 months), the finished meat is placed in the freezer.

Canned holothurians are ready to eat without prior heat treatment.

Interestingly, the pickled product can be used as an alternative to olives and mushrooms.


Pea soup with sea cucumbers


Cooking algorithm:

  1. Boil sea cucumbers in several changes of water, cut into cubes.
  2. Fry seafood, carrots and parsley roots (in lard).
  3. Boil the peas until half cooked (20-30 minutes).
  4. Add the fried mixture, greens, seasonings to the broth.

Serve pea soup with sour cream or hot mustard sauce.

Marinated sea cucumbers


  • dried holothurians - 50-60 grams;
  • carrots - 600 grams (4-5 pieces);
  • celery - 15 grams (3-4 sprigs);
  • onion - 300 grams (2-3 pieces);
  • tomato paste - 30 milliliters;
  • water - 70 milliliters;
  • little vegetable - 30 milliliters;
  • apple cider vinegar - 15 milliliters;
  • sugar - 5 grams;
  • spices (bay leaf, sweet pea, salt, onion).

Cooking scheme:

  1. Boil sea cucumbers (after pre-soaking).
  2. Prepare marinade. To do this, pre-peel the vegetables from the peel. Then the carrots are grated, the onion is cut into rings, the greens are chopped with a blender. Prepared vegetables are sautéed in vegetable oil until half cooked. Then the mixture is combined with tomato paste and simmered over low heat for another 5-10 minutes. After that, vinegar, water, sugar, seasonings and herbs are added to the roast. After boiling, the dressing is heated for 15 minutes.
  3. Add chopped sea cucumbers to the hot marinade. Simmer the mixture over low heat for 5-10 minutes.

The dish can be served either cold or hot.

Sea cucumber roast with vegetables


  • sea cucumbers - 300 grams;
  • vegetable oil - 45 milliliters;
  • white cabbage - 400 grams;
  • carrots - 200 grams;
  • zucchini - 200 grams;
  • potatoes - 300 grams;
  • tomatoes - 200 grams;
  • mayonnaise - 150 milliliters;
  • cheese - 150 grams.

Cooking scheme:

  1. Boil sea cucumbers in three changes of water (after daily soaking).
  2. Fry sea cucumbers in vegetable oil (for 5 minutes).
  3. Chop vegetables. Cut cabbage into half rings, potatoes into “straws”, carrots and zucchini into cubes. Grate the tomatoes.
  4. Sauté vegetable mixture over low heat (5 minutes).
  5. Combine cabbage, carrots, zucchini and potatoes with trepangs, add salt and spices.
  6. Spread the prepared mass on a baking sheet. Pour in tomato sauce.
  7. Bake the dish in the oven for 20 minutes (at 180 degrees).
  8. Sprinkle the semi-finished dish with cheese, spread with mayonnaise (10 minutes before cooking).

Roast served with tomato juice and pickled mushrooms.


Trepang is the most valuable echinoderm mollusk that lives in the coastal waters of the Japan, Yellow and East China Seas. The tissues of this animal contain a large amount of bioactive substances: protein structures, triterpene saponins, minerals, vitamins, organic acids. Due to the unique combination of nutrients, trepang meat is used to slow down the natural aging process, reduce irritability, and accelerate regeneration.damaged tissues, increase vitality. Along with this, seafood provides invaluable support to the thyroid gland, brain, reproductive organs, and cardiovascular system. To obtain a pronounced therapeutic effect, an extract or extract is prepared from a fresh mollusk (you can use ready-made tinctures).

Preparations based on trepang should be used for reduced immunity, beriberi, adhesive processes, chronic fatigue syndrome, purulent wounds, rheumatoid arthritis, impotence, and mastopathy. In addition to the medicinal and nutritional properties, the meat of the "pod" has an exquisite fish and shrimp taste. In view of this, it is actively used in cooking (especially in East Asia). It is excellent for all types of food processing: baking, frying, boiling, drying, salting, preserving and marinating. Soups, hodgepodges, side dishes, salads, pie fillings, sauces, marinades are prepared from echinoderm molluscs. The product requires pre-treatment: soaking for a day in cold water, boiling in several changes of liquid (with 12-hour settling). Store in the refrigerator (no more than 2 days) or in the freezer (1.5-2 months).

  1. Pertseva AD – Biologically active substances of the Far Eastern trepang. – 2013