I found these unusual, frilly light and tasty seaweeds at the Bogo market. Didn’t catch the appropriate local name (had no ballpen) but they seemed to lump them all together with other seaweeds such as guso and lato. If I am not mistaken it was something like “saang bulaklak” and they said it only grew on a particular type of specimen sea shell. It looked exactly like a seaweed I had recently enjoyed at the Tsukiji restaurant on Pasay Road so I was rather excited to see it at the market. In Manila, a top quality mixed seaweed salad fluffed up with lettuce and a good sesame seed dressing can run upwards of PHP650 for a tiny bowl, so how I wished I had brought the other ingredients for this salad as I would have had these for breakfast as well!
Pressed to describe the shell on which this seaweed thrived, they hunted one down in the market and found this one, a scorpio conch or close relative. Apparently, the seaweed grows on the shell and it has the dual purpose of camouflaging the shell and being ambulant in the seas, giving the seaweed more chances to catch nutrients flowing by… isn’t that cool?
I saw another vendor with this basin of seaweed (color intensified by a flash, where photos above were taken in natural light), who said it was the same as the variety up top, but this one had slightly wider bits that made me think they weren’t exactly the same. Combined with other seaweeds in the market, this was one of the finest displays of edible seaweed I have ever seen in a local market. If any of you know the real name of the seaweed up top, I would appreicate it if you leave me a comment, thanks!