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Ogo Hawaiian Seaweed

Ogo Hawaiian seaweed

Ogo Hawaiian seaweed, a key ingredient in the Hawaiian dish, poke.

How to Enjoy Ogo Hawaiian Seaweed

Edible ogo Hawaiian seaweed is becoming increasingly popular throughout the US. Ogo is one of the most popular edible seaweed or limu in Hawaiian. Hawaiians call this particular seaweed, limu manauea. Residents of Hawaii commonly refer to it as ogo. The scientific name for this seaweed, which is actually an algae, is gracilaria parvispora.

People in Hawaii typically use ogo as a key ingredient in poke. This is a dish of raw fish chunks, typically yellowfin tuna or ahi. You often mix the fish with raw Maui onions, local seasoning and spices. Examples of typical spices include inamona (crushed kukui nuts), soy sauce, sesame oil and chili peppers. Poke is often one of the dishes you can find at luaus or at places that serve traditional Hawaiian food.

Hawaiian poke with ogo.

Gathering Ogo Hawaiian Seaweed

While people do not usually eat it like this anymore, you can also eat ogo all by itself. In the old days, one would eat it along with a sauce made of miso, sugar and rice vinegar. To many, it was refreshingly delicious. But people say they don’t eat ogo by itself anymore because it’s farm raised. Apparently, farm raised ogo is not as tasty as naturally grown ogo. So why can’t people just find and use naturally grown ogo?

In the old days, you could go to many places and just pick the ogo from the shore. If they were not onshore, during low tides, you could walk on the reef. Then you could simply pick the ogo off of the reefs or rocks beneath the water. But today, it’s difficult, if almost impossible to gather ogo this way. Years of uncontrolled ogo picking have depleted the areas that once had them in abundance. This is the reason why most of the ogo sold today is farmed raised. And this is why you’ll find only farm raised ogo in most poke dishes today.

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