Red Ogo Seaweed
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Red ogo seaweed maintains its bright red color when fresh, but turns a dark green color when cooked. This seaweed offers a nice salty ocean taste with a crispy texture. Seaweed is high in potassium, iron, minerals, and calcium.
Although red ogo seaweed is safe for human consumption, it is used primarily for aquarium fish food.
Low in calories, one pound of red ogo seaweed contains about 45 calories. Providing three times the amount of potassium than bananas, red ogo seaweed is a good source of trace minerals. Studies show red ogo seaweed helps increase resistance to stress and fatigue. Mostly all sea vegetables are rich in iron, several minerals, calcium and potassium.
Perfect marinated and added to salads or used as decorative garnish for seafood entrees. Add to sweet pickled vegetables. For an unusual salad, blend a small amount of chili oil, sesame oil and soy sauce in a mixing bowl. Adjust quantities to desired taste. Add chopped fresh red ogo and lightly toss. If desired, sprinkle with red chili flakes. Serve as a side dish, salad or as an appetizer. To protect crispy texture, rinse in cold fresh water just before use to remove much of ogo’s salty personality. Dipping in boiling water for ten seconds also diminishes saltiness and brightens the color, however, the crisp texture is reduced. Boiling water is recommended for pickling applications. To store, keep covered in a dark area up to five days. Do not store in fresh water as water will reduce shelf life and the nutritional benefits. Only rinse or prepare just before use.
This very trendy sea vegetable is making a big splash especially in fine restaurants. Chefs appreciate its seafaring presentation and diners love its unique oceanic flavor. One of the larger red seaweeds in Hawaii and able to grow to sixty centimeters in length, it is believed ogo did not originate in the Hawaiian Islands where it is used in poke, a popular Hawaiian dish. Also known as limu and long ogo and of the species Gracilaria parvispora, ogo produces best where there is very little wind and the waters are calm. Edible red algae is economically important as a food and in the making of gels. Extensive production and natural harvest of red algae occurs in several regions worldwide. Aqua-cultured, ogo is locally grown in Carlsbad, California.