I have so taken for granted the eating of lukot that it came as a surprise—a shock, even—that very little data can be known about it. Google seems to be of little help and only furnishes a couple of reference sites, one of the most informative of which is—surprisingly-- a science high school project website which focuses on lukot.
Local fishermen living in areas where lukot abounds call them the excretions of sea slug or sea hare. This is terribly unappetizing for something which is, to me at least, singularly delicious. I could only imagine non-natives frowning at this seemingly gross dish made of "sea slug poo." But I really think lukot is a secretion and not an excretion of the sea hare.
Having grown up in the hinterlands of Mindanao, I was not able to taste lukot until I came to a shoreline city where I took up my college studies. The first time I laid eyes on this inexplicable mess of slimy green, noodle-like threads which are inextricably intertwined, I was not really rearing to have a taste. However, with my gustatory adventurism, I took a bite. And I fell in love with that first bite. And I got hooked.
I don’t know the nutritional profile of lukot and there really is a dearth of information about it in general. I imagine it has lots of iodine and other minerals, plus anti-aging proteins such as collagen perhaps. It may even be one of the best sources of chlorophyll, who knows?
The deficit of data notwithstanding, lukot or sea slug secretion has been enjoyed by generations of Filipinos since time immemorial and the eating of it has always been with gusto and abandon. Never have I heard of deleterious effects. Lukot is commonly tossed raw in vinegar and the usual salad spices-- onions, tomatoes, scallions and ginger-- for a most appetizing salad. Or it could be thrown into a pot of boiling fish stew to serve as exotic leafy green substitutes.
This photo is taken from mysmartschools.ph and shows freshly-harvested lukot.
This one is a more festive rendition of lukot salad and is taken from tubagbohol.com, a community forum.
Perchance one of you readers is a marine biologist who can shed more light about this marine entity-- care to share what you know? Or perhaps you are from another country where sea slug secretion is also being eaten—please share your recipe or cooking tips.