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Ar-arusep: grapes of the sea

About Nick Ballesteros

Nick Ballesteros spent his childhood days in Baguio City, worked in Makati, climbed mountains in Laguna and Batangas, and is now searching for hobbits in New Zealand. He shares his thoughts and experiences at www.nickballesteros.com, and his love for food at www.adobongblog.com.

I must take after my father when it comes to appreciation of seafood. As a native of Dagupan, fish, clams, oysters, and all sorts of bounty from the sea find its way to his table. And he brought this all the way to Baguio where we grew up.

Ar-arusep (as it is called in Ilocano, Baguio’s local dialect), is a form of seaweed. It also tastes great. I could never recall a time that I did not like it. I like the ones that have small globules; there’s actually a variety that’s lighter in colour and have bigger “grapes” but they’re not as tasty.

And exactly how do they taste like? Like the sea. All you need to enjoy ar-arusep is thoroughly wash it. And if you want to be fancy, just mix in some chopped tomates and you have seaweed salad! Or, as my cousin Ate Ely mentioned in Facebook, just squeeze calamansi juice overit and you’re good to go. Plus with the iodine in seaweed, it helps prevent against goiter. Good for you!

When we went to La Union last December for a day at the beach, we bought some from the market. We chopped some tomatoes but we did not mix it with the ar-arusep in case the kids do not want tomatoes in them, and we also had salted (red) eggs on the side. It’s the perfect complement to grilled meat and fish.

Sharing the food we love with friends on a day at the beach (one of my favourite places to be in). Priceless.


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Disclaimer: Definitely Filipino is a community blog. All who write for this blog are independent, unpaid authors. All views, content, images are the responsibility of their respective writers and not of Definitely Filipino. Please contact the author directly with questions about this article.
Send a private message to author n_ballesteros



3 Comments |
  • Alma Carandang

    may i say i really love this seafood. I now live in the caribbean where im surrounded by sea but there isnt any ar arusep. My family lived in Baguio City when i was high school. I love vegetables too, then i had goiter so i frequently ate ar-arusep so my goiter was gone.. great food!!

  • geleisky

    Dito sa Palawan, ang tawag namin dyan ay LATO. 🙂

  • John Howell

    I’m in love with the filipino ppl and culture and I really like your site. I especially like the foods you show. The one above looks interesting but could you explain the red eggs. I’ve never seen them before. I would really love to try some of these dishes but wish they were in english too. Recipes would be helpful.