Posted in Product Reviews

Sea Tangle Brand Kelp Noodles

Kelp Noodles 1

Kelp Noodles are…. Well, ‘noodles’ made out of Kelp. I came across this Sea Tangle™ product in Vancouver this summer and was curious to see what they would be like. My main interest is that they are supposed to be a low carbohydrate replacement for starch based pasta products, containing only 3 grams of carbohydrate in the entire 12 oz package.

The noodles are actually strips of kelp that have been ‘de-colorized’ somehow and then preserved with Sodium Alginate, a salt extracted from another type of seaweed. Water, according to the package, is the only other ingredient… Continue reading “Sea Tangle Brand Kelp Noodles”

Posted in Recipes

Kombu Tsukudani (A Japanese Seaweed Relish)

Kombu Tsukudani 1

This dish is a Japanese preparation, very much like certain sort of Korean Banchan, which uses the edible seaweed known as Kombu for its main ingredient. Like its Korean counterparts, it keeps very well, can be used as a cold side-dish, and is particularly good as a flavorful topping for plain rice. It is not the prettiest dish in the world, perhaps, but it certainly packs a lot of flavor…  Continue reading “Kombu Tsukudani (A Japanese Seaweed Relish)”

Posted in Ingredients

Edible Seaweed: Wakame

Wakame 1

After the ubiquitous Nori, widely used to wrap Sushi rolls, and Kombu, the seaweed base for Dashi, Wakame is probably the third most extensively used seaweeds in Japanese cuisine. It is a frequent addition to soups and its bright, emerald green color when reconstituted makes it an especially attractive, not to mention tasty addition to a variety of salads…  Continue reading “Edible Seaweed: Wakame”

Posted in Ingredients

Edible Seaweed: Kombu (and How to make Kombu Dashi)

Kombu 1

You may, at one time or another, when walking on the shore, have come across a variety of large, ribbon-like seaweed cast up on the shore, possibly with the olive-green fronds still attached to a thick, rope-like stem. For years, I knew the basic type simply as ‘Kelp’ but, point of fact, that name actually includes a whole range of very different seaweeds (many of which are edible) and the sort you see pictured above is more properly referred to by its Japanese name ‘Kombu’ ( or, less frequently, ‘Konbu’).

This edible algae (of which there are a number of different varieties) is not widely used in western cuisines but it is very popular indeed in the far east. It is harvested and eaten in Korea, and used to a lesser extent by the Chinese, but it is in Japanese cookery where the seaweed really shines. Indeed, Kombu is more than an occasional ingredient;  it is an essential item in the Japanese pantry and, as we shall see below, is a foundation stone in the cuisine as a whole…  Continue reading “Edible Seaweed: Kombu (and How to make Kombu Dashi)”

Posted in Ingredients

Foodstuff: Dulse

When I was a kid growing up in England, I had a great-aunt in Northern Ireland who used to send ‘care packages’ comprising things like Oatcakes, Soda Bread, Fruit Cakes heavy with Irish Whiskey, and an unusual delicacy, almost  unheard of elsewhere, known as ‘Dulse’. This last item, I should hasten to inform you, is actually a variety of seaweed and, in England, in the 1960’s, seaweed was not even recognized as being something that could be eaten, let alone a substance that normal people would voluntarily consume.

When I tried to share dulse with my school chums way back then, the reaction was not much different than had I tried to extoll the virtues of eating toe-jam. Essentially, my attempts to convert others to the pleasures of dulse eating ended up with me looked upon in the same way as the kid who snacked on library paste and, thus, it was nothing short of amazing to me when I moved to eastern Canada, at age 12, and discovered that dulse, at least in that particular corner of the country, is a well known treat… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Dulse”