I was planning on posting this next week for Frizztext’s ‘Tagged S- Simple Seaweed Salad’ but plans changed and I decided to pass it off as Tagged R- Raw Recipe. ^^ I simply couldn’t wait to share this recipe on my blog coz it’s been such a long time since I posted one. But this one’s bound to be interesting coz it’s Rare and Refreshing
Lato (Caulerpa lentillifera) is an edible seaweed farmed in the Philippines and in Japan where it is known as umi-budō (海ぶどう) or sea grapes because of its grape-like appearance. Compared to grapes though, they’re pretty tiny and has a mild, very slightly salty taste. The best thing about this seaweed also known as ‘sea caviar’ is probably the texture; it’s robust, watery, a li’l slimy and they pop in your mouth while you eat ‘em. Fun. ^^ They are known to be a rich source of essential minerals such as iron, iodine, and calcium as well as vitamins A and C.
Lato is usually sold fresh and eaten raw. Be warned that this seaweed with its delicate structure tends to wilt quickly. Hence, careful handling is required. Unlike most seaweeds, it’s impossible to dry and preserve the Lato. Also, cleaning it with bare hands requires effort and plenty of patience on the part of the market vendors. Nevertheless, they’re quite inexpensive. The great thing about preparing the salad is that it’s pretty easy and doesn’t take much of your time. ^^
First of course is that you have to wash the Lato well. Salted water may be used.
Then mix the seaweed with chopped onions or shallots, chopped tomatoes, and the vinaigrette of your choice. (vinegar with some salt and sugar usually works best). However, be sure to add the vinaigrette just before eating the salad unless of course you wanna end up with a dish of shriveled seaweed. lol ^^
I prefer my Lato salad with just some calamansi (a local citrus fruit) and plenty of sesame seeds. (shown above). Another dish to try if you ever find yourself in my part of the world 😉