Seaweeds obtain their food entirely from the surrounding seawater they live in.
They do not have roots in the conventional sense. However, they do have hold-fasts by which they attach themselves to rocks and stones, and from which the stem-like part grows. The weed itself can regenerate from this part. Therefore, if you are cutting seaweed leave plenty of this strip so that the weed can grow again. June is an excellent month to gather most seaweeds.
Before cooking any seaweed also wash thoroughly in fresh water to remove sand, shells and other shoreline debris which may have stuck to it. Seaweeds only take a basic amount of cooking.
- Slice them very thinly and serve raw in a salad.
- They can be accompanied with a basic soy sauce, french or vinegar dressing
- They can be stir-fried in sesame or olive oil for about five minutes until they are crisp on the outside (crisp fried seaweeds are a popular Chinese appetiser
- Add larger pieces to soups and stews to thicken them. Most seaweeds contain a natural vegetable gelatin which is released during longer cooking periods.
Seaweeds are very low in calories but rich in minerals. It may take you a little while to get used to their strong flavours but it's intriguing to try this new type of food. The most popular varieties are:
- Carragheen. This is found in stones and rocks on temperate Atlantic shores.
- Laver. This is common around the all Britains coastline. In the south-west of Wales Laver is considered a great delicacy. They make Laver bread from this.
- Bullet Kelp. This can be found on the low water mark around rocky shores on our coast. As well as a salad vegetable this weed has a taste resembling that of Peanuts.
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