The seaside isn’t necessarily the first place you’d think to go for inspiration for tonight’s supper, but maybe it should be. Top chefs have started to use ingredients like samphire and sea herbs in their dishes and it’s about time we did it too. Not convinced? Here’s what seaweed and sea plants could bring to your diet.
Seaweed is a broad term given to loads of different species of underwater veg, and can be anything from microscopic to growing in large forests. There’s a whole range of colours too, with some being a vivid green, others brown and even deep shades of black featuring on the spectrum.
Is seaweed a superfood?
Just like land veggies, sea veg is packed full of nutrients, with different varieties boasting high levels of everything from vitamin A, which is useful for eye health, and vitamin K to help blood coagulate. It’s low in calories and rich in fibre, making it perfect for those looking to lose weight safely and reduce their risk of type II diabetes.
If you haven’t cooked with seaweed before, the prospect can be a bit daunting, but seaweed butter is a great way to start. Spread it on toast, cook it with fish or add a knob to a bowl of soup for an extra kick of flavour and micronutrients.
Follow Cook Style’s instructions and you’ll always have a jar of seaweed butter to hand whenever you need it. It’s a great way to add something a little extraordinary to your dishes.
Seaweed and potatoes
The next step on your journey of discovery with seaweed is to enjoy it with potatoes and your favourite protein – like sausages, fish or chicken. You can simply add it to your usual mashed potato recipe for an extra dimension, but can also go a bit more adventurous.
Try Seaweed Namara’s recipe for sea lettuce gnocchi that isn’t too hard to make, but will totally impress any guests you have for dinner. They’ll think you’re 100 per cent on trend with your delicious potatoey concoction.
It’s not surprising that fish and seaweed go well together, because they come from the same place and you can cement the relationship with delicious seaweed fishcakes. Soft potato is the perfect vehicle to let these ingredients shine and that crispy outer layer is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Make Mindful Chef’s recipe for hot smoked salmon and sweet potato fishcakes, which uses seaweed as a key ingredient for flavouring. This is midweek dinner reinvented and an effective way to shake up mealtimes without having certain members of the family refusing to tuck in.
Seaweed and eggs are a match made in heaven and you can start by simply sprinkling some of the dried stuff on your morning scrambled or poached eggs to get the idea. Once you’ve fallen in love with the sharp tang contrasted with the robust protein, it’s time to turn it up a notch.
Make this rolled seaweed omelette from My Korean Kitchen for super effective morsels that are so satisfying with their central green swirl. They’d make great canapes if you can stop yourself from scoffing them all down as soon as you’ve made them.