Sea grapes are a real delicacy, which is often called "green caviar". This seaweed belongs to the genus Caulerpa, but gourmets know it under the Japanese name umi budo.
Sea grapes have gained popularity in Europe relatively recently. This is not surprising, given the fact that umi budo grows exclusively in Japan, in coastal waters near the island of Okinawa.
On the stele, which stands by the sea at the entrance to the village of Ogimi, located in the northern part of Okinawa, the inscription is carved: “When you are seventy years old, you are still a child. At eighty you are a young man. If, when you are ninety, your ancestors call you to them, ask them to wait until you are a hundred years old, but even then you will still think before agreeing.
The saying is rather strange, if you do not know that the people of Okinawan are famous for their colossal longevity. Alzheimer's disease, oncological diseases, heart attacks and strokes, from which Europeans suffer in old age, do not annoy the local population. According to statistics, for every 100,000 people in Okinawa, there are more than sixty people who have celebrated their centenary. For comparison, in the US this figure is 23 people. Okinawans claim that it is umi budo that they owe their incredible longevity to. According to the Japanese, the presence of this algae in the diet helps them maintain their sanity and physical vigor even in old age.
- general characteristics
- Composition and calories
- Useful properties of the product
- Harm and contraindications
- Features of use in cooking
- Cooking umi budo in Korean
The name “sea grapes” owes its very peculiar appearance. Algae really resembles bunches of grapes in miniature. Less romantic gourmets see a certain resemblance to twigs on which frog eggs have been abundantly laid.
Outwardly, umi budo looks like thin metal shavings with "berries" -leaves. They have a very fresh, slightly salty, pleasant taste and burst in the mouth like real caviar.
This algae is quite fastidious, it grows exclusively in warm and ideally clean water. Therefore, off the coast of Okinawa, in shallow water, there are real plantations that the locals use to grow the delicacy. It is planted by hand, and harvesting begins in two months.
Umi budo is delivered to Europe by plane, in special containers with sea water. This algae does not tolerate low temperatures, and therefore a refrigerator cannot be used for its transportation. At the same time, it is noteworthy that in Asian markets, sea grapes are quite cheap, and in restaurants in Europe and the USA, the price of dishes from it literally rolls over.
Algae reach a length of two to five meters and grow by clinging to reefs, rocks or uneven sand on the bottom. The color of umi budo ranges from golden green to olive and turquoise.
As noted above, umi budo belongs to the genus Caulerpa, whose representatives are found exclusively in tropical and subtropical waters.
Unlike most algae, it is quite soft, and therefore "grapes" do not need additional processing.
Although Japan is considered the world center for the cultivation of umi budo, sea grapes also grow in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and are found in Madagascar, off the coast of South Africa, Tanzania, and Papua New Guinea. Its habitat is shallow lagoons, coral reefs. Algae do not survive in fresh water.
Sea grapes owe their incredible popularity among gourmets and fans of a healthy lifestyle to their absolutely incredible chemical composition, thanks to which the seaweed is a real storehouse of nutrients. At the same time, only 0.4 g of fats, 1.5 g of proteins and 4.8 g of carbohydrates fall on 100 g of the product.
|Vitamin A||10 mcg|
|Vitamin E||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin K||35 mcg|
|Vitamin B2||0.01 mg|
As you can see, the vitamin composition looks very impressive. Vitamin A stimulates the production of collagen in our body, which helps maintain skin elasticity and is responsible for cell regeneration. It is also considered an effective antioxidant. Vitamin E is involved in the synthesis of hormones, has a positive effect on vascular tone, increasing their elasticity, and is also one of the most effective means for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin K promotes detoxification of the body, neutralizing the effects of toxic substances.
Biotin plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, participating in the synthesis of glycogens - carbohydrates that accumulate in muscle tissue and the liver.
In addition, it normalizes the sebaceous glands of the scalp. Finally, folates are responsible for the health of the reproductive system and help fight anemia.
The sodium present in the chemical composition of sea grapes normalizes the activity of the nervous system and helps maintain the acid-base balance in the body. Also, in interaction with potassium, it provides a water-salt balance, which is directly related to the activity of the heart muscle.
Phosphorus is an element that is responsible for the normal state of dental and bone tissue, is involved in maintaining the activity of the nervous system, and supports the functioning of the kidneys.
The lack of iron in the body is manifested by persistent fatigue, weakness, a sharp decrease in immunity - a person, like a magnet, attracts ARVI and acute respiratory infections. In addition, iron is responsible for the condition of hair and nails.
Copper effectively fights depression, helps to normalize the emotional background. In addition, the lack of this substance can provoke the appearance of a rash on the skin.
Manganese is essential for normal bone formation. In addition, it takes part in the synthesis of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone, and also helps to improve the functioning of the digestive system.
Finally, iodine is an element without which the human body simply cannot exist. It stimulates brain activity, promotes the development of stress resistance, increases the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels. It also helps maintain normal weight by taking part in energy metabolism.
|Alimentary fiber||0.8 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||0.02 g|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids||0.02 g|
|Oleic acid||2 mg|
|Linoleic acid||4 mg|
|Alpha Linolenic Acid||7 mg|
|Arachidonic acid||1 mg|
The fiber present in the composition of the algae works like a sponge, absorbing toxins and toxic substances, after which they are naturally excreted from the body.
Saturated fatty acids are compounds that take part in the thermoregulation of the body, are one of the components of energy metabolism, and contribute to the absorption of proteins.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are substances that are not synthesized by our body, and, therefore, must be supplied from the outside in sufficient quantities.
They increase the body's resistance to bacteria and viruses, help reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerotic plaques, and work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Prevent the development of joint diseases.
Oleic acid acts as a prophylactic agent that prevents the formation of cholesterol deposits in the vessels. In addition, it prevents the occurrence of oncological diseases, in particular, it blocks one of the breast cancer genes.
Linoleic acid is considered a kind of “magic wand”, which helps to get rid of extra pounds once and for all. It effectively “accelerates” the metabolism, helps to build muscle. Alpha-linolenic acid has similar properties. It also cuts the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by half, according to recent studies.
Arachidonic acid effectively prevents the development of arthritis and rickets, activates the regeneration of muscle tissue, and helps reduce muscle pain resulting from physical exertion. It is also responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandins - substances that take part in protein metabolism.
The beneficial properties of sea grapes are due to the vitamins and minerals that are present in its chemical composition. So, seaweed umi budo:
Despite the wide list of useful properties, this delicacy also has contraindications. So there are cases of individual intolerance, which is manifested by numbness of the tongue and limbs, dizziness, loss of the ability to navigate in space.
In addition, umi budo should be used with caution in diseases of the digestive tract: gastritis, peptic ulcer, problems with the liver and biliary tract.
When choosing sea grapes, pay attention to the condition of the "berries". They must be firm and resilient. If the "grapes" do not spring under the fingers, then the algae is not too fresh.
Before serving seaweed on the table, put it in a capacious pan with cold water and leave for a quarter of an hour. During this period of time, the dirt and sand present on the surface will settle to the bottom of the dish. After that, thoroughly rinse the delicacy under cold running water and send it to the refrigerator for five to ten minutes.
There are several ways to use umi budo in cooking. You can simply serve it on the table in its “natural” form, sprinkled lightly with lime juice or a weak solution of apple cider vinegar.
In addition, sea grapes can become one of the ingredients in a vegetable salad or seafood dish.
Gourmets note that the taste of algae "reveals" completely in combination with soy sauce and a variety of hot spices. Please note that it is better not to use mayonnaise in combination with umi budo, it completely distorts the original taste of this unusual delicacy. Experienced culinary specialists recommend serving sea grapes with olive oil-based pesto sauce, salt and chopped walnuts.