What Do Sea Grapes Taste Like?

What do sea grapes taste like? Sea grapes taste like the sea with a mild saltiness, a slight acidity, and a sweet undertone. Tiny bubbles pop up inside your mouth when you bite them and release a taste similar to oysters’ refreshing, salty water.

Japanese cuisine is famous for its distinctive and varied tastes, from sushi to sashimi to tempura. It has made its way into different traditions and cuisines, with Japanese cuisine having large popularity across Japan, the United States, and worldwide.

One unique dish offered in many Japanese restaurants across the globe includes Umibudo, also known as sea grapes. A popular dish in Okinawa, Japan, sea grapes are also very well-known in Malaysia as well as the Philippines.

It is a kind of seaweed that is named after its appearance. It is reminiscent of tiny grape clusters.

The tiny grapes for eating are green and transparent. They are part of the aquatic plant. It grows on stems of long length that can be eaten.

They are often served in a raw form with soups, sauces, salads, rice, and sauces. Sea grapes are a tasty food item that does not just offer a distinctive flavor but also a fascinating texture.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying this incredible food, You’re probably wondering what the flavor is like!

Find out more about the flavor of sea grapes and their texture, as well as some of the most delicious ways you can consume sea grapes!

What Are Sea Grapes?

Sea grapes, also referred to as green caviar, are a form of algae that is loved in Japanese food. The Japanese refer to it as Umibudo, which means Umi (sea), as well as the word Budo (grapes).

Most commonly found mostly in Japan as well as Southeast Asia, sea grapes are sometimes referred to as lato, or the arose, also known as guto in the Philippines, as well as the word Batok within Malaysia.

They are typically taken from the ocean floor in the tropical Pacific close to Okinawa and the Philippines and require a specific temperature and salinity to flourish.

They thrive in sandy, shallow, and floored ocean beds with a moderate temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to the increasing demand worldwide, numerous producers in Okinawa have set up small-scale sea grapes farms to reduce the amount of harvesting.

Health Benefits of Sea Grapes

Their delicious flavor and texture aren’t the only reason why the culinary world adores them.

Sea grapes are loaded with minerals and vitamins. They are a great source of iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E.

They also have high Omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in hyaluronic acids.

It is believed that in Okinawa, Japan, sea grapes are known as “longevity seaweed” because of their health benefits.

Do Sea Grapes Taste Good?

Indeed, sea grapes have distinctly sweet, salty, crunchy flavors and rich texture. Some experience mildly acidic flavors, amplified by chewing on tiny bubbles of green.

Its slight saltiness and ocean-like taste could be compared with other varieties of seaweed such as wakame and kombu. More than their taste, sea grapes are adored because of their texture, similar to caviar.

When the chewy and slimy liquid-filled bubbles explode into your mouth and release salty liquid and produce the sound of ” Puchi-Puchi,” that is an onomatopoeia which refers to the sound made by the ocean grapes popping.

Sea grapes should be eaten raw to relish their crisp texture, usually removed when cooking at high heat.

But, if you decide to consume them, wash them at least a couple of times using cool water to rid them of the fishy smell common to seaweeds.

How to Make Use of Sea Grapes In Recipes

Sea grapes are a tasty and nutritious food item that can incorporate into a broad array of meals. The tiny bubbles that are part of the leaf and the stem on which the one that grows up can be consumed.

While cooking other kinds of seaweed seaweeds, the grapes of the sea are best consumed raw to preserve their freshness and distinctive consistency.

They should be placed in a cold water bath for a short time to let them grow and bloom. After that, you should take a quick shower to remove the taste of seawater and a slight fishy scent.

Sea grapes make a fantastic ingredient in many recipes. It provides freshness and crunch but also reduces the heaviness of many recipes.

One of the most effective ways to enjoy sea grapes is:

It is a good choice with vinegar, soy sauce, or roast sesame sauce.

It’s a great garnish over freshly cooked rice; it is known as Umibudo Don Okinawa. To give it more flavor, pour an oozing sauce called Sanbaisu over the food. It is made up of equal amounts of mirin, vinegar, and soy sauce.

Atop fresh seafood salad, or Chirashi.

In the context of the Filipino seafood salad ( Ensaladang Lato), which is served with onions, tomatoes, mango, and calamari.

As an ingredient in sushi or as a component of sushi.

In a rice bowl or noodle dish.

A refreshing drink is created by adding it to the hot water in a cup.

For an ice cream taste (if you’re a fan of the adventurous)!

Other Questions Asked

After we’ve discussed everything from the distinctive texture of the sea grapes to how they taste, We have some additional questions we think you may have about the Japanese deliciousness!

Are sea grapes really eggs of fish?

Sea grapes can also be referred to as green caviar due to their appearance resembling fish roe as well as the way they appear after eating. While they look like caviar, grapes aren’t fish eggs. They are a kind that is made up of seaweed.

Where can you purchase the sea grapes?

For the freshest sea grapes, it is recommended that you need travel to Southeast Asia, where they are mostly grown and harvested. You can find them in markets and restaurants.

If you don’t have the option, you can order them on the internet. They’re typically delivered dehydrated or in brine. Then, you need to soak them in water in order to restore them to their former glory.

Do Japanese Sea Grapes as well as Caribbean seagrapes alike?

The answer is not. Most people mix Japanese Sea wine grapes, ” Umibudo,” with seagrapes from the Caribbean; however, they are two distinct things.

Japanese sea grapes can be described as a kind of seaweed. The other one is a fruit that can be found within the Caribbean.

Contrary to what is commonly believed, Seagrapes found throughout the Caribbean are safe to consume and taste different from regular wine grapes. They have a mixture of acidic and sweet flavors. This fruit does not contain a lot of fruit and is mostly a single seed.

How do you make sea grapes?

For making sea grapes, you should only take out the quantity you plan to eat and then wash any remaining saltwater.

Then, gently run them under clean water before transferring them to a bowl filled with clean water for a minute or three if you truly need to eliminate the salty residue.

They will come back to their original shape once they have been immersed in water. They can be consumed naturally or used in your favorite recipes.

Which is the most efficient method to store sea grapes?

Sea grapes thrive in specific conditions, and cold isn’t one. Don’t store these in the fridge as they’ll shrink, get fragile, and eventually die.

It is suggested to take only the quantity you want to consume. Then, put them back into their bag, which usually contains salt water.

Sea grapes can be stored at room temperature, keeping the ideal storage temperature between 59degF and 82degF.

A crucial thing to be aware of is that if you apply dressings or any other drinks on sea grapes, be sure to consume them as quickly as you can because they’ll lose their flavor in the event that they are left to soak for a long time.

Make sure to pour the liquids or dressings before when you consume them.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.