Steps involved in gulaman making:
- Select freshly harvested seaweeds gathered early in the morning or during low tide.
- Wash the seaweeds with freshwater and drain thoroughly.
- Spread the seaweeds into thin layers over wooden trays or in any clean container and dry under the sun for one week.
- Resoak seaweeds in freshwater for 5-10 minutes. Dry again under the sun until the seaweeds turns dirty yellow.
- Once the seaweeds are dried, bleach them with weak acids like vinegar until the color turns olive green. (A one-tenth kilo of dried seaweeds is either soaked in a solution of 3.5 liters of water an 90 ml of 0.1 N sulfuric acid or soaked in a solution of half a liter water and 2.5 grams of commercial sodium thiosulfate.)
- Drain the bleached seaweeds and sun-dry until sufficiently dried (light brown in color)
- To the dried seaweeds, add 3-5 liters of water and a diluted solution of vinegar until slightly acidic to taste. Allow this to boil for 30 minutes to one hour while constantly stirring the solution. Boiling can be repeated until the solidification of the extracted agar is difficult to achieve.
- After boiling, strain the seaweeds using ordinary cheesecloth. Separate the liquid portion from the plant residue.
- After extraction, allow the filtered extract to cool and solidify. Once it is hard enough, cut into strips or to any desired form.
- Pack the gulaman strips or bars into an ice box with dry ice or wrap them in cheesecloth with ice and salt, keep the bars intact for 2-3 days.
- Thaw the gulaman bars by placing them on bamboo mattings or wire screen and allow them to dry at room temperature.
- Finally, allow the extracted thawed agar to dry under the sun until the desired texture is obtained.
- Cool the gulaman bars before packing and storing.
source: Seaweeds, An Industry Profile DA-AMAS