Seaweed; it tastes great, it’s incredibly good for you and its often completely free. So why don’t we eat it that much?
The English have historically been pretty rubbish about eating seaweed but this trend has started to reverse in recent years with the introduction of Asian influences over the last few decades (although that stuff at the local takeaway is actually cabbage and it doesn’t count).
The Welsh and Irish however have had a long and rich relationship with the stuff. Whilst the Irish haven’t a huge affinity for any one particular species the Welsh are infamous for their fondness for Laverbread.
Many people on the wrong side of the Severn Bridge turn their noses up at Laver without even trying the stuff. I wonder what they would say if I told them that Japan has 250 square miles devoted to growing the stuff. In Japan the industry is worth over a billion dollars. What we call Laver in this county the Japanese call Nori and use it to wrap all their sushi. It’s exactly the same species and it grows all over the UK and can be foraged easily for free.
If you live near the coast I really recommend you give seaweed a chance. There are 630 species of seaweed in the UK. None of which are poisonous, although I can’t vouch how tasty they all are! The ones to look out for are Dulse, Gutweed, Kelp, Laver, Sea Lettuce and Carragheen (can be used as a vegan setting agent).
Once made this can be stored in the freezer to be used as and when necessary.
Chop your Laver as fine as possible, a sharp knife really helps with this.
Once you have diced it as fine as possible cook in a saucepan on a low heat with a tiny splash of olive oil to stop it from burning.
Keep doing this for about 20 minutes to help remove some of the water. Let it cool and then mix it into some room temperature butter and roll into a log using cling film or baking paper.
Slice off discs and add to steaks/chops. It adds an amazing seaside flavour to anything it touches. Think of it as instant Surf ‘n’ Turf.