Arosep/Grape seaweed

Arosep or grape seaweed is a type of seaweed that is known as Caulerpa Lentillifera.  It belongs to the species of “bryopsidale green algae” mostly found in the coastal regions of Southeast Asia but more predominantly a popular seaweed in the Philippines. In fact these succulent seaweeds are now being cultivated in  fish ponds in Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines.

Grape seaweed is also being enjoyed by Okinawans. They eat the “arosep”  fresh and named it ‘umi-budo’ because of their grapelike appearance.

Last time in November when I go for a vacation in the Philippines seemed to be the season for ‘arosep’ the local name for this wonderful seaweed.  Everyday I go to the market I always come across  women selling them in baskets and since I know how nutritious it is, I always buy them and make a salad out of them.  I use chopped tomatoes and local shallots we call ‘sibuyas-Iloko’ and seasoned with fish sauce or bagoong (fermented fish) and just dip them in.  It is so good especially as a side dish for grilled fish or any seafood. You might want to wash them carefully before eating them. I seldom see this here in Hawaii though.

Arosep  or grape seaweed like other seaweed is a rich source of iodine which is known for preventing goiter.