Saturday, December 04, 2010

Green Caviar vs Sea Bird Nest

This is the most beautiful seaweed I’d come cross with, it looks like green bunch of pearl in bundle. My Filipino staffs prepared this beautiful and delicious Sea Bird Nest plus “Green Caviar” seaweed healthy veggie salad for me.

There are many species of seaweed in our country and most common edible seaweed like Eucheuma cottonii ~ Sea Bird Nest and Eucheuma spinosum are known as red seaweed, and the green seaweed ~ Caulerpa lentillifera also known as “Green Caviar” which make nutritious and healthy dietary valuable to human consumption food. 

All the while my recipes of making Eucheuma Seaweed or Sea Bird Nest come in dry form. Now I have the wet form of Eucheuma Cottonii Seaweed, in cebu they called it as “Guso”, also known as gelatinous seaweed called agar-agar by cebuanos, in chinese named as San Hu Cao or Sea Bird Nest.

Guso is in lighter greenish in color, slimy in touch when in wet form with sea water fishy smell. Now the wet form of guso (Eucheuma Seaweed) and “Lato” ~ known as Caulerpa Lentilifera or “Green Caviar” to make the Filipino dishes in fresh vegetable seaweed salad. 

What is Caulerpa Lentilifera or Green Caviar

Caulerpa Lentilifera or Green caviar is being used in Thailand to cultivate in the pond for water treatment in their shrimp farm. In Philippines and Japan used it as fresh vegetable and healthy salad, or decoration food.

Other than the wet Sea Bird Nest “Guso”, I like this “Green Caviar”, also known as Caulerpa lentillifera (Scientific name of Green Caviar), in Philippines they called as "Lato". It growth in zero pollution water as claimed, and pearly in light green color like a bunch of grapes looks with succulent texture. That's how the name of "Sea Grapes" comes from.

How is the Green Caviar taste like? 

To be frank with you, its taste likes sea water if eating without a dip of sauce, taste a bit like other algae and slightly salty in taste.

How to Prepare Guso

Rinse Eucheuma Cottonii Seaweed or Guso (wet form) with running water and clean thoroughly, cut into small pieces, soak “Guso” in the hot water, make it slightly soften, but don’t hold too long in hot water as it will turn its texture. Toss with the seasoning flavor like vinegar, onion, carrot, and tomato it brings palatable dishes and also protein rich food.

For your information, the strong fishy smell "Guso" in raw orm, taste is totally fishy smell and tasteless, but crunchy in bite. Compare to making in dessert drink, wet form of Eucheuma Cottonii seaweed needs other ingredients to add taste to it before you can consume it with delicious taste.

This Veggie salad is full of "Guso" ~ Sea Bird Nest and "Lato" ~ Green Caviar. the mixture of two seaweeds in a big plate blanch with lime, chilli, carrot and onion. Remember this, when mixed the “Green Caviar” can turns into good taste vegetable salad. But have to consume as quickly as you can if you mixed the “Green Caviar” into the salad. Usually the “Green Caviar” should be separated in another plate; it tastes crispy and nicer with dipping in sauce than mixing it.

Preparation and Cleaning Green Caviar:

Now, to prepare and cleaning procedure for this “Green Caviar” is quite simple, but not yet, we must know how the technique for how to clean to keep its freshness, and its nutrient content in good order.

Method to clean Green Caviar:

Rinse and wash with running water is common method. But through my experiences, and I learned from my Filipino staffs that, after using the running water to clean, probably passes one hour later it will become soft and turn to pale in color, it wilts and the feeling of bite is not crisp at all.

The best way to wash them in a bit of salty water or use the clean water (1 liter) to add with 50g of table salt to process to keep it crispiness in bite when eat.

Sauce for dipping

It is very simple. Mixture of moderate amount of Vinegar or lime, chili and chili sauce, sugar, salt and soybean sauce, mixed well and done.

Preparation and how to eat:

1. Must be eaten raw, can not stand soaking in sauce immersion.
2. Separate the sauce and “Green Caviar”, dip them into the sauce and eat it. Such feeling in the mouth and brittleness will not change.
3. Dip Green Caviar in sauce, wasabi, salad cream, lime or vinegar with chili, the feeling in mouth rumble and trundle in bite yet so delicious. Yum!

Take Note:

  • Green Caviar is very sensitive to cold, this Green Caviar survives in about approximately 20-35 °C, cannot keep them in the refrigerator and it will wilt very soon.
  • After washing with water, it cannot keep for long period, wash and clean it by water flushing then edible immediately.

Its Health Benefits:

The Green Caviar is pH alkaline foods from the sea. It includes the rich fiber and the mineral substance, rich source of antioxidants and high content of photo-synthetic vitamins, e.g. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, minerals, fatty acid, amino acid, lipid, iodine, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and calcium, dietary fiber and more. The mucus includes the polysaccharide and plant sterols, it is said may have suppresses the cancer cell effect. So far the data of the nutritional value not yet available, even though this seaweed has been eaten as sea vegetable and fresh salad quite common in locally and famous in other countries like Philippines and Japan.

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Please note that all the home remedies, traditional medicinal herbs usage are not alternatives for medicine. Although home remedies, alternative healing, natural healing or any alternative health articles are natural, all information I presented here is based on traditional usage and collected for informational purposes only. Results may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For severe illnesses, do not cease taking any prescribed medications. It is recommended that you must consult or seek your physician’s advice before starting any alternative healing with home remedies or herbs with caution.

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