Cook it! Honeyed Cottonii (Guso) Seaweed Salad
Now for a bit of education. This type of seaweed is known by a number of names. Scientists will know it as Kappaphycus alvarazii, a very good source of carragean. Carragean is used to help keep things viscous, moist, and gel-like, and can be found in a lot of things -- fire extinguishers, lipstick, shampoos, bread dough, beer, and ham, to name just a few. It's also commercially known as cottonii seaweed. If you find yourself in a local wet market, just ask for Guso. (Remember, say it with a glottal stop on the last syllable.)
Now, I'm not entirely sure if I should even but calling this entry "Cook It!", because, well, there's practically no cooking involved. None whatsoever. (Except maybe for the blanching bit, but you wouldn't call that cooking per se, would you?)
Guso is usually seasoned with a mix of vinegar, chopped red onion, and some green peppers. If you want your seaweed with a nice spicy bite, that's fine. Let me show you my own sweeter version.
You will need:
- 1 kilo of guso, washed
- 3 cups hot water
- 4 tablespoons white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons honey
Let's Get Started!
- Set your 3 cups of water to boil. Once it's worked itself up to a vigorous boil, blanch the guso with the water. Make sure to get all the branches washed this way. Set guso aside.
- Note: If you notice the seaweed shrinking, go slowly with the hot water.
- Combine your vinegar and your honey in a small bowl, and mix well. If you want to make it a bit sourer or sweeter, adjust accordingly, and taste a bit to make sure you like it.
- Pour honey-vinegar mixture over the guso, and toss for a bit.
- Serve. Freak out your friends by stuffing your mouth with the stuff and pretending to be a sea monster, and maybe entertain the kids in your house, but don't forget to eat your seaweed greens.
I've half a mind to further experiment with the honey-vinegar mix, and maybe tweak it further into vinaigrette territory. Well, we'll see.
Hope you enjoyed this easy recipe!