Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!
Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.
More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
Food trips are inextricably tied to travel where Tutubi tries to sample unique specialties and delicacies of all places he visits. Take kilawin for instance, a truly Filipino dish, simple and devoid of foreign incluences, even if similar to cerviche except the use of vinegar and not lemon.
This post features two versions of kilawin recipes with meat or fish replaced with ingredients from under the sea: seaweeds.
There are five seaweed species in the Philippines: Guso (Eucheuma), Lato (Caulerpa), Sargassum, Gelidiella and Gracilaria of which the first two are the most popular. They're now cultivated in shore communities and exported raw or processed with a little salt.
The seaweed salad now quite common in Metro Manila restaurants and known as lato. It's just unusual that Tutubi was able to sample lato on his second trip to Cebu (yeah, that whirlwind backpacking tour that took him around Cebu, Bohol, CDO, Camiguin and Bukidnon in 9 days of 2003)
Lato resembles small green grapes, translucent with smooth texture and bursts with mild salty flavor once eaten then glides down your mouth. It's mostly prepared kilaw-style i.e. mixed with vinegar and usual kinilaw ingredients used in the particular place.
fresh lato (seaweed) available at Munoz Market, ready for simple seaweed salad recipe (old lato picture taken with Canon Ixus 30)
Kinilaw na Guso, first encountered by Tutubi in Leyte, is actually agar-agar (scientific name: Eucheuma denticulatam) the source of carageenan used in food processing and other products such as toothpaste.
Kinilaw na guso seaweed salad at Ocho Bar and Grill in Tacloban City (Olympus Stylus 850SW)
Appearing like tree branches, guso, also has green color and texture different from lato. Tutubi prefers this over lato.
The third interesting "seaweed" recently featured on GMA7's Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, that Tutubi has really yet to taste, is called lukot and actually not a seaweed at all. Lukot are excretions of the dongsul or sea hare and resembles green spaghetti, gathered by people near beaches where the sea hares live.
Tutubi hopes to see and taste lukot one of these days in future trips down south. Should any reader knows where to buy lukot in Metro Manila, please lead Tutubi there. It may be another exotic food trip in the offing.
Interesting post, Tutubi. I love lato and guso. Lukot is very popular in the sea waters of Davao Oriental. I don't know where can we buy that kind here in Manila. I didn't find anything like that here...
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