On the right are some tasty recipes that will give you an easy start in the world of seaweeds. This is just the tip of the iceberg as there are many more to come!
How to cook with…
Kombu (or Kelp as its commonly known) is probably most well known for its unique effect it has on the taste buds, that which the Japanese call Umami and what we know in the west only as our 5th flavour. We are familiar with salty, bitter, sweet and sour however we rarely encounter the 5th flavour ‘Umami’ so when added to dishes Kombu can bring wonderful ‘zing’ with very little culinary effort needed- a geat one for fast, simple and super flavourful delights. It is a must when creating base stocks, soups, stews or casseroles and can just be treated as a vegetable or rehydrate in plenty of water (1ltr per strip) for 30 mins – 1hour and snip into sandwiches or on salads for a great little extra. It is also fab just to grind up and use as a salt alternative or blend into the delightful an simple Seaweed Pesto.
For general cooking guidance, soak for 30 mins-1hr and then simmer for 5mins- 1hr depending on strength or flavour desired for the stock. The Kombu can then either be removed and snipped into bits and returned to the broth or snipped into salads or rice/pasta dishes. I love the broth on its own with a sarnie or as a base for Miso soup. Kombu is also great just added to rice or pasta when cooking it up, just add a little more water and taste the difference.
Oh, and don’t forget to try the fab yet slightly dangerous Kelp Crisps with a beer or a little whiskey on a really chilly night!
Sea spaghetti has been used for centuries all over the world in coastal communities to act as both a rich carrier of vital nutrients and to bring its unique shape, texture and gently sweet flavour to the plate. It has been termed ‘Spaghetti del Mar’ for its easy use as a substitute for pasta dishes however is probably best used alongside other ingredients to form larger dish or enjoy as a garnish. You can add it to stews, soups, casseroles, salads, omelets, use as a bed for a fish dish or deep fry it in batter or on its own and drizzle with lemon. Or to use as the name suggests throw some in alongside your pasta and cook together. It really is a pretty diverse sea green!
For general cooking guidance, either boil it for 10 -12 mins with other veges or you can steam it for 20-35 mins until tender. If your going to add it to say an omelet, then drop it in chopped just before you add the egg. Hope you have a good time with the following recipes, id say my fave has got to be the Carrot and Sea Spag Salad and the Tempura Sea Spaghetti with tartar or lemon- YUM!!
This sea salad is a mix of Dulse, Sea Lettuce, Nori (depending on availability), and Mermaids hair and can simple be ground to make a fab seasoning for buttered new potatoes, steamed asparagus or edamame, salads or sandwiches or rehydrate for 20 mins and snip onto salads, noodles or pasta dishes. Alternatively as with the kombu of sea spaghetti add the sea salad to any stew, soup or casserole to be cooked as a veg for added flavour and a huge vitamin and mineral kick!
The quantities of each seaweed species per pack will vary depending on whats in season (and weather the storm swell has be crashing onto the shores) so the sea salad is a good option for those looking for a variety of flavours or an intro to seaweeds. I like to rehydrate it in a little water and snip onto salad and crackers for a light snack or side to any dish- light, easy and super filled with goodness!