Pok-Pok-Lo ?! :)


Ano ulit ang pangalan nito? (What is it called again?) “Pok-pok-lo” was the answer. Pokpoklo or pukpuklo I suppose. I have asked this question 2 or 3 market weekends in a row, always forgetting the name by the time I get home. At any rate, it is a type of seaweed, an Ilokano favorite, I gather from my suki at the FTI Saturday market. Gil Carandang of Herbana Farms is fond of it as well. It looks a bit worm like, but isn’t slimy in the least. In fact, it’s a bit dry to the touch, almost rubbery in texture. It’s like eating long salty gummy worms but with a bit more tensile strength.


Ilocanos or Ilokanos just rinse it and mix it with sliced tomatoes, preferably of the “native” variety, then use as a side dish to fried or grilled fish or meats. I have eaten it several times, and I suppose one could say they are probably an acquired taste, but unusual, stunning to behold, and probably incredibly nutritious to boot. I have no idea what they are called in English or even their scientific designation…

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30 Responses

  1. we call it ambaang in my town in bohol.we used to gather this kind of seaweed when we were kids kapag there is a low tide.sinasawsaw lang namin sa suka ayos na.

  2. That seaweed is called Codium Tenue. Also popular in Hawaii.

    Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, and a number of other top chefs have a dishes that use Codium.

  3. Iba ang itsura dun sa Hawai’i. More like a thin, flat palm with “fingers.” Doesn’t taste quite the same, either. But it is called by the same name. Go figure. Some people dive for it, but my friends and I just wait til some wash ashore.

  4. Marichu and fmed, apparently there are more than 50 types of Codium around the world, so they appear to be related, but still differ from sea to sea… fmed, thanks for identifying the codium family…

  5. just tomatoes, no vinegar? have never had that. does it taste something like the stem of the lato, MM?

  6. millet, a little meatier, and I find more flavorful, still reminiscent of the sea… And yes, you can add vinegar, it cuts the saltiness of the seaweed. A spritz of dayap or lemon would also work well I think…

  7. oh my, i googled “pokpoklo”, and among the pages it came up with was a website for “oriental and beautiful–the best-looking girls in singapore”! there’s another site that says “delicacies!”….now i’m afraid to open that too. :-)

  8. I am from Ilocos Sur and the pokpoklo is like salad to us. When you bite this iron-rich seaweed, it is a little bit slimy, with a touch of saltiness.

  9. I have tried this, it’s different but still ok. I still love lato though (with the small round things not the big ones) compared to guso and this one.

  10. My eyes widened when I saw the title of this post. I’m not sure if it’s Fookienese slang or just a term used in my relatives’ homes but I grew up knowing “pok-pok” as term for prostitute. LOL!

  11. I love this. it is called pokpoklo…I am from Aparri Cagayan where this abound. Funny thing is, we have them here in MA USA. Seen them at the Cape ( Falmouth, to be exact). I will take picture this summer and will send them to you, knowing you have Boston connection. It is yummy.

  12. mom used to buy the lighter green variety or more like the color of pickled olives (or is it light brown?). she says they come from the shores of pangasinan. the same as ararosep salad, the pokpoklo salad consist of thinly sliced lasona, chopped tomatoes, calamansi juice, very thinly sliced half calamansi rind and guinisang bagoong hipon. the salad goes very well with grilled/fried fish or pork chops and a lot hot rice. yummy. the way mom say it is like po’ po’ lo (accent on the first and 2nd po’). they look so really fresh in your pictures.

  13. MM, I’ve tried this chilled with diced tomatoes. onions, garlic and chili peppers with a squeeze of lime and cracked peppers. They are delightful to eat, you bite and they pop with salty hints, like fresh fish roe!!!! I am trying to sleep but what am I doing? Reading MM’s food posts. I guess that’s a fun start for Sunday!

  14. MM, you should service this as a salad, similar to your KBL post (Kamatis, Bagoong, Lasona) and then top it with Bagnet croutons!!!!

    Naimas unay!!!

  15. MM, sometimes we add this as a topping to pancit. Ilocanos have strange (or yet suggestive names to food) imagine growing up in a household where it’s normal to say and hear “pukpuklo”, “kabatiti” and “puki-puki”.

    You shuld also try the gamet from Bubon in Ilocos Norte, just add tomatoes, a little salt and warm/hot water to soften the dried seaweed.

  16. We call that ambang in Leyte. We used to gather ambang during low tide since our mother had been advised to eat seafoods to cure her goiter.:)

  17. im also an ilocana from tarlac and a fond eater of pokpoklo…are u also aware of “ar-arusip”(grape-like sea weed)?…if u have tried both, which among these two tastes better?=)

  18. yup, that’s it..black saturday on a beach in currimao and here comes a little girl with a basket selling this..a plastic bag full of this seaweed plus 2 red, round tomatoes for P10 per bag..ready to eat, according to her..we brought them back all the way home to manila inside a chiller and when we finally got to taste them, they reminded us of seawater..kids wouldn’t touch them though because they really looked like green worms…will shrink a bit after some time..serendipitous post

  19. We call this as POKPOKLO in Ilocos Norte. This is famous and common to us Ilocanos. Just mix with tomatoes and salt and its ready to eat. but if you keep this never put in the fridge coz it will melt down or shrink. Gamet is different from this.

  20. i think gamet is the violet paper like thin seaweed… it was my favorite. Have not had it in years…

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