Monday, January 21, 2013

Sea Bird Nest 海底燕窝

Sea bird nest / SBN (海底燕窝) is Eucheuma cottonii, a seaweed of the Areschougiaceae family.  It had been major ingredient in carrageenan production, an important gelatin substitute in food industry, for their gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties.

In recent years, Eucheuma cottonii was gradually introduced to consumer as health product, similar to the highly invaluable birdnest / EBN.   Due to its lower cost, it is widely used in beverages, mixed with fruit juices, eaten as salad, made into jelly, or tongsui.

SBN smells fishy, if not properly washed.  The smell can be remove with prolonged soaking and repeated washing.  After soaking and washing, the SBN will lost its smelly odor, and the coloration.  It is now spongy, chewy and translucent. 

EBN easily costs up to USD 1,000/kg even for the lowest grade, while the best dried SBN costs only a USD 12/kg !


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