Cooking with Sea Vegetables



Many natural foods cookbooks include recipes using sea vegetables. I have chosen here to use just two sources, Cooking with Sea Vegetables and Sea Vegetable Celebration as a brief introduction to using sea vegetables. Available in simple paperback, these books provide many more interesting and diverse recipes for further cooking adventures.

For more discussion see Sea Vegetables for Health.

 

Agar

 

Couscous Apricot Kanten (serves 4-5)
1 ½ cups cooked couscous
2 cups dried apricots (or other dried fruit)
6 cups filtered water
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup agar flakes

 

1. Spread the cooked couscous evenly in a rinsed shallow dish or mold.
2. Rinse the apricots under cold water to clean, then place in a pot with 5 cups of the water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
3. Soak the agar flakes in the remaining cup of water for 10-15 minutes. Add to the apricots and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the flakes have completely dissolved.
4. Pour the mix gently over the couscous and leave to cool until firm. Cut into desired shapes.
Variation: Substitute other dried fruits or fresh fruits (these may require a longer cooking time). Sprinkle top with roasted nuts if desired.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Strawberry Kanten (serves 4-5)
½ pound fresh strawberries
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup water
3 cups apple juice
½-3/4 cup agar flakes
4 T. barley malt, or to taste

 

1. Wash the strawberries carefully and cut in half. Place in a bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and leave for ½ hour to bring out their sweetness.
2. In a pot, add the water, apple juice and agar flakes and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, add the barley malt (taste the mix for sweetness and adjust) and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the flakes have completely dissolved.
3. Add the strawberries to the cooked liquid, then place this mixture in a rinsed shallow dish or mold. Allow to cool until firm. Cut into desired shapes and serve, garnished with a fresh berry.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Apple Sesame Custard (serves 4-5)
6 cups organic apple juice
1 cup agar flakes
2 T. natural vanilla extract
3 T. finely grated lemon peel
5 T. tahini
Pinch of sea salt

 

1. Place the apple juice and agar flakes in a pot and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly until all the flakes have dissolved.
2. With a little hot liquid, mix together the vanilla extract, lemon peel, tahini, and sea salt into a creamy consistency. Add to the hot liquid.
3. Rinse a shallow dish or mold in water and then pour in the hot liquid and leave to cool and firm.
4. Place in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve chilled on its own or as a topping for desserts.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Arame

 

Arame Saute (serves 2-3)
½ cup arame
Spring or filtered water
1 t. mirin
1 t. dark sesame oil
2-3 shallots, diced
2 cups button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 cup match-stick sized carrot pieces
2 or 3 stalks broccoli, florets and stems diced
2 T. sunflower seeds, lightly pan-toasted

 

1. Rinse the arame well and set aside. It will soften without soaking.
2. Place the arame in a small pan with enough water to cover halfway. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Season lightly with soy sauce and mirin and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring until wilted. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Finally, stir in broccoli and season lightly with more soy sauce. Cover and cook over low heat until the broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the arame and sunflower seeds. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.
Source: Shep Erhart and Leslie Cerier

 


Dulse

 

Dulse Oatmeal Soup (serves 3-4)
Dulse goes especially well with oats and onions…
5 cups spring or filtered water
½ medium onion sliced in half moons
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup dulse, soaked in ¾ cup water for 5 minutes and finely sliced
Pinch of sea salt
Parsley, scallions or watercress chopped fine to garnish

1. Bring the water to a boil, add the onions and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
2. Add the rolled oats, dulse, soaking water from the dulse and the sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
3. Garnish with chopped parsley, scallions, watercress, or grated carrots.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 

Avocado Dulse Dip (serves 2)
1 T. dulse flakes or granules
1 avocado, chopped
3 scallions, diced
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. cayenne

 

Blend all the ingredients and serve with crudités or toasted whole grain pita crisps.
Source: Shep Erhart and Leslie Cerier

 

Dulse Tahini Dressing (serves 4-6)
An excellent dressing for lettuce-based salads…
½ cup spring or filtered water
2 T. tahini
1 T. umeboshi plum paste
½ cup finely sliced dulse, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
3 scallions, finely chopped

 

1. Warm the water, add the tahini, and stir until creamy.
2. Stir or blend in thoroughly the umeboshi paste.
3. Stir in the dulse and scallions and/or parsley or watercress.
Source: Montse Bradford

 

Dulse DLT (Dulse, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich)
Small handful of dry dulse, rinsed and dried, or pan fried, or baked at 300 degrees 3-4 minutes until crisp
2 slices whole grain bread; Lettuce; Tomato; Mayonaise
Dulse can also be added to any sandwich for crunch, color, tang, and a mineral infusion.

 

 

Kombu/Kelp

 

Basic Sea Vegetable Stock (yield 6 cups)
4 to 5 cups spring or filtered water
4- to 5-inch strip kelp or kombu
1/3 cup dried shitake or other mushrooms
1 t. minced fresh ginger
1 T. miso
3 scallions, chopped, for garnish

 

1. Bring the water to a boil in a 2-quart soup pot.
2. Add the kelp, dried mushrooms, and simmer them for 1 hour.
3. Remove the sea vegetable and mushrooms, dice, and return them to the pot.
4. Add the ginger and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the miso and garnish with scallions. Serve or use as stock.
Source: Shep Erhart and Leslie Cerier


Lentil Stew (serves 4-5)
Cooking beans and legumes reduces the cooking time, softens them, and makes them more digestible.
1 cup lentils
1 6-inch strip kombu
3 ¾ cups spring or filtered water
1 cup onions, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
¼ t. sea salt
Scallions, chopped to garnish
1. Sort and wash lentils
2. Place in a pot with the kombu on the bottom and add the water.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about one hour or until lentils are almost soft.
4. Add onions and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
5. Add the carrots, celery and sea salt, cover and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Check water to be sure it is sufficient, adding more if necessary.
6. Remove the lid, turn the heat up to medium and boil off the excess water.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford.

 

Covered Casserole (4 servings)
8 cups of assorted bite-size chunks of 3-7 vegetables…winter squash; carrots; turnip; parsnip; onion; leeks; cabbage; sweet potato; fresh or dried mushrooms
3 or 4 cloves garlic, diced (optional)
One 5- or 6-inch piece of kelp or kombu
One 1- or 2-inch knob ginger, sliced (optional)
One cup filtered water
Scallions, parsley, or edible flowers for garnish

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the cut vegetables and garlic in a large mixing bowl, and mix them together to evenly distribute the garlic.
3. Cut the kelp/kombu with scissors into 1-inch by 2-inch strips and put it at the bottom of the casserole dish.
4. Add the vegetables, ginger, and water.
5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the vegetables are tender and sweet.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford

 
Nori

 

Nori Rolls
2 cups cooked rice, hot
2 T. rice or umeboshi vinegar
½ t. kelp powder
4 sheets nori, toasted
Filling:
¼ cup grated cucumber
Dash soy sauce
1 t. sesame seeds, toasted

 

1. Mix filling and set aside.
2. Mix vinegar and kelp with rice.
3. Place a sheet of nori on a small bamboo mat or heavy cloth napkin.
4. Spread ½ cup of rice over the sheet, leaving a 2-inch edge uncovered at the end of the sheet.
5. Arrange ¼ of the filling in a line across the middle on the rice. Roll the nori in the mat.
6. Place the roll with the seam down to seal.
7. Slice 1-inch thick.

 

Variations: Use any grain or cooked vegetable combination. Mix umeboshi plum pulp or paste or miso with the grain. Umeboshi plum and vinegar both help preserve the grain, making nori rolls containing either of these an excellent travel food.
Source: Paul Pitchford

 

Wakame

 

Miso Soup (serves 2-3)
½ cup wakame
3 ¾ cups spring or filtered water
1 small onion, sliced into half moons
½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1 ½ t. barley miso
Scallion, chopped to garnish

 

1. Wash the wakame quickly under cold water and soak in a very small amount of water for 3 minutes. Slice in pieces.
2. Bring the water to a boil, add the onions and simmer uncovered for 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the wakame with its soaking water and broccoli and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
4. Puree the miso with a little of the soup liquid in a mortar and pestle.
5. Add to the soup. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 2 more minutes.
6. Serve, garnishing each bowl of soup with the chopped spring onions.
Source: Montse Bradford

 

Split Pea Soup (serves 3-4)
1 cup split peas
6 cups spring or filtered water
½ cup wakame, soaked 3 minutes and sliced into small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
¼ t. sea salt
Whole wheat bread, cut into small cubes and baked, to garnish

 

1. Wash the split peas and put in a heavy pot with the water and wakame
2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour (check often, stirring, to ensure that the peas do not stick to the bottom.)
3. Add the diced onions and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes
4. Add the sea salt and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes
5. Serve garnished with the baked bread croutons. The soup can also be garnished with grated carrot of chopped scallions.
Source: Peter and Montse Bradford
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