Stained glass sea vegetable.

This morning I further prepared and ate my several leaves of kelp gathered yesterday. I had left them in water in the fridge overnight. First I drained the water into the cooking pot, and then cut up the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

As I drew each long blade out of the tangle,
many configurations, colors and textures were revealed.

The “slimy” stuff that comes off or out of the seaweed is part of itself and its goodness. It gives the broth substance. I ate some of the fresh kelp to make sure it wasn’t already very salty; it wasn’t salty and the flavor was fairly bland, compared to other seaweed I have eaten. So I went ahead and cooked all the pieces in water with a little salt. I could have made a raw salad with some or all of it, but because I rarely eat cold salads in the winter, that didn’t occur to me until I was already in the process of cooking the vegetable.

I fried firm tofu with sesame oil and tamari,
and combined half of that with about half of the kelp
to make a yummy breakfast bowl.

Tomorrow I’ll eat the rest of the kelp in its broth, and call this a successful experiment. I’m planning to take a knife with me to the beach in the future, in addition to the plastic bag I had handy this time, so I’ll be equipped for whatever foraging opportunities.

Thank you, Bella!

 

16 thoughts on “Stained glass sea vegetable.

  1. I have been eating store bought seaweed “wafers” as snacks. Very expensive though, for the amount. I love them. Do you know anything about doing this for ourselves? –And I don’t even know the difference between seaweed and kelp. What is that? I guess I can’t quite tell what you are doing here. You end up with a “soup” from it, but also kelp pieces?

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    1. Cindy, I found an article from the National Ocean Service on What is Seaweed? https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/seaweed.html The words seaweed and kelp are often used interchangeably, but I think technically kelp is a type of seaweed.

      I like those seaweed snacks, too. They are typically made with nori, which is the tastiest seaweed I’ve ever encountered. I found an article on making your own: http://www.montereybayseaweeds.com/the-seaweed-source/2019/7/17/how-to-make-your-own-roasted-seaweed-snacks

      This bull kelp we found is usable fresh and raw, or cooked, or dried. Bella planned to dry most of what she took home, on her apartment balcony. I noticed that most recipes using seaweed assume you are starting with dried product. Not many people are bringing it home from the beach!

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    2. My soup was very plain, just a thin broth with the pieces of kelp in it. Bella suggested I cook them with a bouillon cube. I will probably add some other things to it before I eat it; today I just took half of the pieces out to eat without the broth.

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      1. We love “Better than bouillon” that comes in a jar! Truly better than the cubes and they have a vegan one!

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  2. I have never heard of this, knew that seaweed and kelp were nutritious but never thought about harvesting them fresh. My firstborn and his wife have been into Korean restaurants and food for a long time so I’ll have to ask them if they’ve ever eaten it. He took me to their favorite restaurant years ago where I loved the soup he ordered for me until I bit down on something that set my mouth on fire, extinguished only by the milkshake like drink they brought me.

    Tell me truly, Gretchen, please…if it wasn’t good for you would you eat it? I mean, does it truthfully taste good? Thank you!

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    1. I like chewy foods and the texture of this particular kelp is what I liked best about it. Sometimes their flavor is pretty strong, but this one was surprisingly bland. I did enjoy it! The fact that I had collected it myself from my favorite beach made it satisfying, too, but if it had been unpleasant at all I’d have contributed it to the garden soil!

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  3. I’m glad you answered the question about actually enjoying the kelp or not. I also wondered if you were making yourself eat it for the nutrients and not flavour.

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