[Sca-cooks] seaweed

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Thu May 7 06:24:29 PDT 2009

On Wed, May 6, 2009 at 7:59 PM, Ian Kusz <sprucebranch at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've been trying something I heard discussed (can't remember where, might
> have been this list; I do note an earlier message about dulse), and that is
> trying seaweed in my food.
> The stuff I have is fairly thick, and thoroughly dried, and I've been using
> it in soups, so I have some questions.
> 1.) how period is it?

In Japan, it goes back to prehistory...not sure about its usage in Europe.

> 2.) how many ways are there to use it? (examples?)

Check a good Japanese cookbook...you'll find many places where it is used.
My favorite is Tsuji Shizuo (*Japanese Cooking:  A Simple Art)*,
Tokyo:  Kodansha
International, 1980.  It is not a period cookbook, but has many dishes in it
that are period.
Many recipes, both period and non, start with a broth called dashi.  It is
made with cuttlefish (usually) and kelp, one kind of seaweed.  Googling
"dashi" brought up the following link that has recipes for this broth:

A really wonderful recipe for a chrysanthemum made from a turnip uses konbu

*Chrysanthemum Turnip*
*Kikka Kabu*

* *

4 servings

6 medium or small turnips

1 tsp. Salt in 1 qt. Water

2” square giant kelp (*konbu*)

1 cup sweet vinegar (see below)

1/2 tsp. Finely chopped seeded red pepper

Trim & peel turnips and cut off tops level.  Rest it on its flat top on a
cutting board between two bamboo skewers.  Cross score as deeply and finely
as possible.    Cut each turnip into 4 to 6 pieces.

Put cut turnips in salt water in which *konbu* has been left to soak.  Let
soak 20 minutes, then remove and squeeze out excess by hand, one by one.

Place turnips in a bowl, add 2 Tbsp. Sweet vinegar, toss, then squeeze out
and discard vinegar.  Replace turnips in bowl, sprinkle lightly with dried
red pepper and add sweet vinegar to cover.  Refrigerate, covered, for one
day before serving.  Keeps at least 1 week under refrigeration.

To serve:  drain vinegar dressing from each turnip.  Gently separate the
flower petals (with chopsticks).  Place a small piece of red pepper in the
center of the flower.

This recipe actually comes from that cookbook I mentioned above.

> 3.) is anyone allergic (that we know of)?
Unknown, but would be surprised if no one was.

> I tried it dry, or lightly moistened, but it seems to need more than that.

Again, check a good Japanese cookbook.  See my reference above.

> I'm trying to eat healthy...yes, I know...sodium....
Actually, seaweed is a very healthy thing to eat.  It has lots of really
important nutrients, and the sodium is natural.

Hope this helps...


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