Lukot – This weird food was a mystery to me for decades. I’ve eaten it time and time again but could not figure out what species of ocean dwelling plant or creature it came from. My first impression was that it was some sort of sea weed. That’s how the locals are advertising it as. I really don’t think they know where it came from either. They just know that its edible.
I finally had it when I could not get the answer I was looking for from the vendors as to where its origins came from so I started my research and found out that this delicacy actually came from a sea slug called “Dunsol” in the local dialect. Its scientific name is (Dolabella Auricularia) that lives in sea grass beds and the reef. You can find the eggs during low tide or you can dive in the grass beds to gather them or just do what I do. I get them from the Market. They’re mostly available year round but there are times where you will have to revert to the gathering part. The egg sacs will come in different colors
due to the macro algae (sea weeds) that the Sea Hare eats. Although the eggs are edible. The actual animal is actually quite toxic. Just like the puffer fish “Fugu” in Japan. You can eat Dunsol as long as you know how to clean it. Most of the toxins are in the innards. The sea slug does not have the ability to produce the toxins themselves so the toxins it has in its body comes from the food it consumes. In Fiji, the villagers eat sea hares regularly and have not had any reported casualties. They clean the animal thoroughly and remove innards. If you want to dive into tasting this wonderful animal, make sure you clean it well or give the task to the locals who knows the process of cleaning it. I would probably stick to the eggs. They taste wonderful in soups, salads and ceviche’s.
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