Forget about outer space; the ocean is the true final frontier, home to untold treasures, and not the sort that come from shipwrecks or pirates’ plunder. Umibudou, directly translated to the more poetic name of “sea grapes” are one such prize. These oceanic gems are a rare treat that can be found along the coasts of Japan and Southeast Asia. They’re making waves in the world of gastronomy.
What is the Gem of the Sea?
Imagine tiny strings of pearls in a delicate, green color, clustered like a miniature underwater vineyard. Sometimes Romanized as “umibudo” or “umi budo” from the Japanese 海ぶどう, these seaweed spheres, resembling miniature bunches of grapes, earn their name for obvious reasons. Scientifically known by Caulerpa lentilliferaThese succulent morsels, however, are not fruits at all, but rather a type green algae that belongs to the family Caulerpaceae.
Flavorful Splash: Umibudou’s Unique Taste
Umibudou is like the essence of the sea. With a distinctive combination of salty and briny flavors, these sea grapes evoke the sensation of standing at the water’s edge, where the breeze carries a gentle spray of salt water. The sea grapes are nutty and have subtle umami notes.