Monday, April 19, 2010

Mozuku Seaweed Harvesting (and My New Pet Turtle)

Before I get to the real subject of my blog, I just have to tell you: my pet turtle is SO entertaining. I bought him about two weeks ago from a military couple about to move away. I shouldn't really say "bought," actually, since he and his home came free.

I've been calling him "Dinner" and I think it will stick. It makes me giggle. Sort of a drawn-out, maniacal giggle... but still.

I really enjoy Dinner's dinner time. He gets insanely excited when he sees his food container and starts swimming frantically back and forth, following his meal.

You'd think I starved him!

I used to dread weekdays when I had no evening plans and had to come home to a quiet, empty apartment. Somehow, this little creature's presence makes it much more bearable, if not even enjoyable. I didn't know turtles had so much personality! Currently he is struggling up onto his little rock perch. He sits there when I work on the computer or read and just watches me.

Curious lil fella.

Alright, back to the point. This past Saturday, I harvested mozuku seaweed. Mozuku is a stringy seaweed grown mainly here in Okinawa, but loved throughout Japan. My sweet neighbor, Taeko-san, invited me to accompany her and her friend to pick seaweed!!

First order of business, however, was lunch. In honor of the seaweed occasion, we hit up the local soba restaurant.

They specialize in mozuku products, and this is the mozuku set. The soba noodles are made with mozuku and you put more mozuku on top, the rice is cooked with mozuku, and the two outside small dishes are mozuku vinegar salad and mozuku jello. Pretty much amazing.

Then we headed down to Mibaru beach to join the crowds for the main event: seaweed picking. Those little dots you see out there are people. I was, once again, kicking myself for leaving my real camera behind, but you get the gist. This tide is lowest this time of year, so we could easily walk way out from the beach and get our hands on that delicious gooey goodness.

I picked so much seaweed! It was surprisingly easy. You just grab a chunk and it comes right up. Sometimes it would be wrapped around a piece of coral or something, but a good flick of the wrist and it was free for the taking.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with it. I know it looks delicious *ahem* but it's not the tastiest thing just straight out of the ocean. Usually I see it at restaurants in the vinegar-salad form so I will attempt that. What else can I do with a big juicy, slimy wad of this mess?


  1. Ahh! I just caught Dinner trying to escape from his tank, and nearly succeeding! Little trickster..

  2. I just translated the recipe. Hope it helps. But sorry for the delay...

  3. No problem! I haven't tried cooking the mozuku yet so your recipe will really, really help! THANK YOU!! :D

  4. I have no idea how to cook or prepare seaweed, so I'm no help there, but sounds like you had a fun time! Also, Dinner is so cute! :D

  5. Dinner is adorable, and I had no idea that you could do so much with one kind of seaweed!