What Do Sea Grapes (Umibudo) Taste Like? Sea Grapes Taste Test!


Sea grapes, also known as sea beans or umibudo in Japanese, are tiny green seaweed that you can commonly find in coastal areas both fresh and saltwater. They are a perfect source of minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, and copper, not to mention they are easy to digest. The unique texture and flavors of sea grapes make them a great addition to salads, soups, and other dishes. Here’s everything you need to know about sea grapes taste and how you can incorporate them into your culinary repertoire.

What Are Sea Grapes (Umibudo)?

Sea grapes (scientific name – Caulerpa lentillifera) are a type of seaweed that grows in temperate regions around the world. They are usually found in the coastal areas of Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The Japanese name for sea grapes is umibudo, which literally translates to “sea bean”. However, sea grapes are also known as green caviar because of their looks, however, this seaweed has nothing to do with fish eggs.

Are sea grapes fish eggs? Sea grapes are not actually fish eggs as many people think, but a type of seaweed, or marine algae, that grow in the intertidal zone and are similar to other edible seaweeds such as kelp or dulse. Sea grapes are native to Japan and other parts of Asia and can be found in Australia as well.

Can You Eat Sea Grapes?

Sea grapes are edible! They have a distinct briny flavor and a crunchy texture that makes them a great addition to many meals or snacks. In Japan, sea grapes are commonly used in soups, salads, sushi, sashimi, and other dishes with seafood. They can also be eaten raw once they are washed with saltwater.

If you’re looking for a snack on the go and to control your calorie intake, sea grapes are a perfect choice. You can pick them up at any grocery store and bring them with you to eat as you go about your day. They are also great in salads or as a garnish for soups and stews.

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Sea Grapes Flavor Profile – What Do Sea Grapes Taste Like?

What do sea grapes taste like? Sea grapes taste like an ocean with rich salty and sweet undertones. Sea grapes have a crunchy texture and a nice bite to it – it is juicy and sweet inside. Sea grapes taste similar to other seaweed (wakame, kombu) and have subtle nutty hints without fishy notes.

Sea grapes have a mild seafood flavor with hints of iodine and seaweed, which can be an acquired taste for some people. The taste isn’t overpowering, which makes them easy to add to dishes without altering the taste too much.

Sea grapes have a unique texture that is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The taste of sea grapes depends on their age, but generally, they have a salty flavor. The younger sea grapes tend to be more tender with a sweet aftertaste, while older sea grapes tend to be chewier with a stronger salty flavor.

Are sea grapes sweet or salty? Sea grapes are salty and briny and have a rich ocean flavor, however, they also have subtle sweet and nutty notes when you chew on them. Sea grapes are not overwhelmingly sweet, so they can be added to savory dishes.

Are sea grapes spicy? Sea grapes are not spicy at all – they are salty and slightly sweet with a slight acidic bite to them.

Are sea grapes crunchy? Sea grapes are very crunchy, just like real fish roe. Just throw some sea grapes in your mouth and enjoy the burst of the unique flavor of the sea. Before eating, sea grapes need to be soaked in ice bowl for 3-5 minutes or rinsed under cold water to get rid of possible fishy taste.

Now that you know what to expect from sea grapes taste-wise, let’s see how you can use them in recipes!

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How to Use Sea Grapes In Recipes? How to Eat Sea Grapes?

How do you eat sea grapes? Sea grapes are great additions to salads because they provide a nice crunchy texture and sweet and salty flavor. They also make a great garnish on soups or noodle dishes if you want something green without adding extra flavors. You can even use sea grapes as decorations on sushi or sashimi!

If you’re looking for something more substantial than just garnish, try using them in stir-fry dishes or even seafood stews. Since they are so easy to digest, they make an excellent addition to any diet plan that requires you to eat more fiber.

What can I eat with sea grapes? Sea grapes’ mild flavor makes them a perfect addition to any meal. Here are some of the ideas of what you can eat sea grapes with:

  • Soups
  • Vegetable salads
  • Seafood salad
  • Seafood stews
  • Sushi
  • Sashimi
  • Sea grapes and rice bowl
  • Sea grapes and noodles
  • Spring rolls
  • Sea grapes with an omelet
  • Sea grapes in a poke bowl

Can you cook sea grapes? Sea grapes can be eaten raw or cooked. You can add them to salads, soups or stews, and even sushi. If you don’t want to eat sea grapes raw, you can sauté them in a pan with butter, garlic or any other seasoning you desire. Try cooking sea grapes with konbu (dried kelp) to give them an even more seaweed-like flavor and texture.

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Are Sea Grapes Expensive? Sea Grapes Price

Sea grapes are not very expensive as you do not need much to add to dishes. In the USA, 100 grams of dehydrated sea grapes marinated in saltwater costs $22.99 or $6.52/ounce. However, in specialty Asian shops, 100 grams of sea grapes can cost as little as $7 per 100 grams!

Sea Grapes Nutrition Value & Health Benefits – Are Sea Grapes Healthy?

What are the benefits of eating sea grapes? Due to their rich content of minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc and copper, sea grapes make an excellent addition to any meal. A 100-gram serving provides 35% of your daily recommended intake for iron while providing almost 20% each of potassium and zinc.

Sea grapes contain 30% DV for vitamin C which acts as a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals caused by pollution, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking or sunbathing too long without sunscreen protection. Sea grapes also have a high concentration of vitamin K, important for maintaining healthy bones by promoting bone formation and reducing fracture risk

In addition to all these benefits, sea grapes are also low in calories and contain no fat. One serving of sea grapes has only 15 calories, so if you are on a diet, you do not have to worry about calorie surplus when eating sea grapes.

Storing Sea Grapes

How do you store sea grapes? Store sea grapes in a tightly sealed plastic or glass container in a cool, dark place at a temperature of +15-+25°C. Do not store sea grapes in the fridge. Before eating, soak sea grapes in an ice bowl for 3-5 minutes to get a cold, nice crunch to them.

If you’ve ever seen sea grapes for sale in your local Asian supermarket, you may have noticed the package is usually covered with a plastic film. While this is done to keep the sea grapes fresh and moist, it also helps remove any odor that may be present on the sea grapes.

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Conclusion

Sea grapes are a type of sea-dwelling algae that grows on rocks or in shallow water. They have a long starchy root that is edible, and a fleshy, translucent outer layer (called the tunic) that is also edible. This outer layer has a mild flavor and a crunchy texture. Sea grapes can be eaten raw or cooked. When eaten raw, they are crunchy and juicy. When cooked, they turn into a soft, sticky paste with a salty taste.

Sea grapes are briny, tangy, salty, and slightly chewy. They have a light green color, are almost translucent in appearance, and can be found in both fresh and saltwater. Sea grapes are more common in the northern parts of Japan but are also found in the southern regions of Asia.

Because sea grapes are high in fiber and low in calories, they are a healthy food choice. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and beta-carotene.

Sea Grapes Taste FAQ

Are sea grapes caviar?

Sea grapes are not caviar even though it looks similar to fish roe but are a type of seaweed found in the coastal areas of Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Sea grapes have a similar texture to caviar – they have a nice crunchy pop of the bubbles but taste nothing like fish roe.

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Do sea grapes taste like grapes?

Despite the name, sea grape has nothing to do with grapes taste-wise. Sea grapes are salty, slightly sweet, and nutty with rich ocean notes, while grapes are sweet and tart with notes of vanilla, honey, and caramel.

Are sea grapes vegan?

Since sea grapes are a type of seaweed, they are 100% vegan. Head over to the closest Asian supermarket and grab a pack of vegan caviar to enjoy its mild ocean flavor with hints of sweetness and nuttiness.

Are sea grapes sweet?

Sea grapes do taste sweet with subtle acidic and pronounced salty undertones. However, sea grapes are very mild in flavor which makes them a perfect addition to almost any meal!

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What can I use sea grapes for?

Here are the foods you can use sea grapes for:

  • Soups
  • Vegetable salads
  • Seafood salad
  • Seafood stews
  • Sushi
  • Sashimi
  • Sea grapes and rice
  • Sea grapes and noodles
  • Spring rolls
  • Sea grapes with an omelet
  • Sea grapes in a poke bowl

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