I get a little troubled by the excess of sous vide cooking in modern gastronomy. Do we really want so much of our food to be swaddled in plastic? Why not instead use the natural seasoning, umami-giving, nutrient-rich and moisture retaining properties of seaweeds?
All you need to know to get you started foraging for edible seaweeds. Includes distribution charts, nutritional information, harvesting strategies, recipe ideas and an in depth guide to the most rewarding species.
Sugar kelp is closely related to Saccharina japonica, the (farmed) seaweed basis of nearly all Japanese dashi, and can be used in similar ways – adding umami to soups, stews and stocks.
A very distinctive and tasty seaweed – up to 2m long yellowy brown spaghetti-like fronds, dividing near the base, growing from small, button-like holdfasts.
Caragheen is not a seaweed to eat in the conventional sense – its far too tough, even when cooked. But once heated in water it exudes a gelatinous flavourless substance that can be used to thicken soups and stews, or in higher concentrations, set jellies or panna cottas. It also can be boiled with other flavourings to make a rich, nourishing tea…