Short for “ogonori,” this is a seaweed found in Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and especially Hawaiian cuisine.
As you probably would guess, it grows off the coasts of Japan, Southeast Asia, Polynesia and other Pacific islands, and the Caribbean. Ogo can be many different colors, but the most common appearance of fresh ogo is a dark green-y red.
Even if the name ogo doesn’t sound instantly familiar, you’ve probably encountered it if you’re a fan of poke, the Hawaiian raw fish dish that’s exploded in popularity in mainland America and Canada the last decade or so. While not in every version of poke, the long, thin, slightly crunchy strands of seaweed are a popular addition.
Other than in poke, ogo is also commonly eaten as a pickled snack, in salads, or as a garnish alongside other seafood dishes to add a bit of brightness. And just how its texture complements other ingredients by adding another dimension without overpowering, its flavor is the same — a slight brine flavor that doesn’t overwhelm but enhances other properties of a dish. It tastes kind of like a sprinkle of the sea!
At Uwajimaya, you can find fresh hydrated ogo in our seafood department.