What is Lato?
Lato (also commonly known as latok, ararosep or guto) is actually an edible seaweed that is common to the Philippines, Japan and other surrounding countries in the Indo-Pacific. They are commonly called sea grapes because they look identical to a tiny cluster of green grapes. All parts of lato are edible from the leaves (the grape looking part) to the stem.
Lato is used in a popular Filipino salad called ensaladang lato or seaweed salad. Lato, or umibudo in Japan, is also popular in Japanese cuisine where lato is typically layered on top of a bowl of fresh cooked rice. It can also be eaten raw and dipped in ponzu, grilled, or added in soups!
What Does Lato Taste/Feel Like?
Where it differs from seaweed is through the texture. When you take a bite of the lato, you'll notice a fun crunchy, pop with each bite. Kind of like caviar, the bubble pops and give a burst of delicious flavor. It's a very unique and enjoyable experience and it's definitely the best part of eating lato!
Is Lato Healthy?
Since it is a seaweed, these sea grapes pack a great source of nutrition and have plenty of health benefits, including vitamins and minerals. In Japan, lato is nicknamed "longevity seaweed" due to all the healthy nutritional properties it has.
Lato is low in calories, have medicinal properties and has plenty of minerals, vitamin A and C, calcium, iron and zinc. They're also high on omega-3 fatty acids and is vegetable protein dense per calorie.
Not only is lato delicious, it's absolutely healthy for you. It's versatility makes it easy to eat with any dish, so lato is great to incorporate into your daily diet!
Where Can I Get Lato Sea Grapes and Recipes?
We're also constantly updating our recipes page and it features lato recipes! You can find all our recipes, including lato recipes here.
We recommend that you start by preparing Shrimp Kinilaw w/ Lato. We know you'll fall in love after this one!