Can you eat a barnacle?

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “can you eat a barnacle?” and will also talk about the cooking methods and recipes of barnacles.

Can you eat a barnacle?

Yes, you can eat barnacles. Most people are unaware that these aquatic creatures were edible. But barnacles have been utilized as a source of nutrition by many people throughout history and throughout the world, especially while sailing out on the ocean, and they are being used today.

The gooseneck barnacle is the most often seen edible barnacle. These barnacles may be found on rocks and in the sand near beaches. Historically, Christians were allowed to consume them on days when they were not permitted to eat meat since they were not regarded to be animals or fish at the time of consumption. This, however, was not a widely used practice at the time.

How to Harvest Barnacle?

The fact that barnacles are a major problem for ships does not preclude them from being gathered and consumed straight off the ship’s bottom. Throughout history, this has consistently been one of the most common ways of collecting barnacles. Harvesting a barnacle is as simple as pinching it off with your fingertips. Then push down on the barnacle until the flesh starts to show through the skin. Additionally, you may use a scraping tool to remove the barnacles from the water. If, on the other hand, you are scraping barnacles off a pier or a wooden boat, be cautious not to scrape off pieces of wood as well as the barnacles themselves.

It takes significant physical power and time to scrape barnacles, so take breaks in between scraping portions of barnacles and have a bucket of seawater nearby for putting in the barnacles after you’re through.

Way of cooking Barnacles 

Barnacles may be prepared in several different ways. One technique is to boil them in very salty water for a long time. The water’s salt-to-water ratio must be the same as that of the saltwater.

If the barnacles are cooked for the appropriate amount of time and at the appropriate temperature, the flesh will be extremely soft and somewhat sweet.

To cook barnacles, the saltwater must first come to a boil. The meat should be added only after the water has reached a rolling boil. After adding the barnacles to the saucepan of seawater, reduce the heat to low and let them simmer for 10 minutes. While they’re boiling, you may give them a little stir now and again. Ensure that you have an ice bath beside your pot of boiling water. Pour off the boiling water as soon as it reaches the ten-minute mark and immediately place the cooked barnacle meat in the ice bath. The cold bath will prevent them from cooking.

In the absence of an ice bath or if they are left to cook for a long amount of time, barnacles’ meat will turn rubbery and flavorless.

Recipes for Barnacles 

Because the flesh contained inside a barnacle is very delicate and virtually flavorless, it is best not to season it excessively. Those who have tried it have compared it to eating crab, while others have compared it to eating young lobster meat.

In most recipes, barnacles are not steeped in a rich or thick sauce and are instead served on the side. Salt and pepper are all that is needed to season them. They are served with a side of lemon dressing. Additionally, you may prepare a lemon butter sauce to serve with them, similar to how you would serve crab meat.

To serve with the barnacle meat, you may prepare a garlic butter dipping sauce or a garlic aioli sauce, which can be found on the internet.

What to take care of while eating Barnacles?

Barnacles are usually considered to be acceptable for consumption by humans and other marine animals; nevertheless, some kinds of barnacles should not be consumed by humans or other marine animals. Not because they are bothersome, but rather because they are eating the wrong kinds of meals. Scientists and researchers who specialize in aquatic creatures have found that barnacles are eating plastic because they mistake it for food. This discovery has been made by scientists and researchers across the world.

Additionally, barnacle-eating animals may consume microplastics as a byproduct of their diet. However, since these particles are indigestible, the pieces do not pass through the animal’s digestive system. In the aquatic food chain, many larger species are caught by fishermen and then delivered to supermarkets and restaurants across the globe. This is not the fault of the barnacles. Our actions, as well as our excessive usage of plastics, have contributed to a larger chain of catastrophes.


In this brief study, we answered the question, “can you eat a barnacle?” and also talked about the cooking methods and recipes of barnacles.