the "other" seaweeds: kulot & aragan

Talking about edible and palatable seaweed, especially among Ilokanos, and Pinoys in general, the more popular fare are the pokpoklo (or pukpuklo, Codium) and the ar-arosip (lato, Caulerpa lentillifera). But there are more, like the famous gamet (Porphyra crispata, nori) which is highly prized and priced in its dried state. Also the equally popular guraman (Gracillaria verrucosa, also called "ur-urmot" because of its supposed resemblance to you-know-what, ugh!).

And there's the kulot (Gelidiella acerosa):

And the aragan (also panpan-aw, kelp, Laminaria):

These two make perfect seaweed salad with sliced tomatoes and onions, a dash of salt or a dressing of bugguong.

Preparing these seaweeds for salad is a little tricky, unlike that of pokpoklo or ar-arosip which you can consume fresh as is. Kulot and aragan are tough and it needed a quick blanch of boiling water to soften them. You put the seaweed into a bowl and pour hot water on it for a quick hot bath. Do not "overcook" it, drain immediately when you see the weeds are kind of wilted and soft. The "secret" of subtly softening the rough and tough texture of the weed is to add in some vinegar just before scalding it.

The end result is a thing of beauty and delight:

This is one great appetizer!


  1. And now I'm hungry to eat aragan, nabayag nak met nga haan nga nangan detoyen.
    Regards, Edmar @ EDMARATION

  2. looks yummy! it's been years since I last tasted seaweed salad. :)

    `The Pinay Wanderer`

  3. these seaweeds look rare to me from where we reside, but I've always loved them when people from Ilocos bring some along. I love the seaweed with the thin thread-like ones that are not salty but just moderate in taste. :)

  4. Pangasinan seaweed found positive for toxin
    Updated February 7, 2010 - 12:00am
    BOLINAO, Pangasinan , Philippines – The laboratory examination on the sample of seaweed locally known as kulot done by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources showed it was positive for polycavernoside toxin.

    BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden said this is the reason why an advisory banning the gathering, selling and eating of this kulot is in effect and regular monitoring is done jointly by his agency and the local government unit of Bolinao.

    Last month, a father and son Rey and German Honrada, aged 74 and 34, respectively, from Barangay Patar this town, died after eating kulot while four others were hospitalized.

    This prompted BFAR to immediately send a team to gather samples of the seaweeds variety in the area. – Eva Visperas