From Soups to Butter: Seaweed’s Dinner Table Takeover

Seaweed’s dinner. Okay, you might’ve seen it hanging around sushi rolls, but when you’re picking your breakfast spread, seaweed’s not exactly the first choice, right? Well, that might change soon because this ocean stuff is making its way into Western dishes more than ever before.

Seaweed on the Rise

So, Asia’s been all about seaweed forever, selling tons of it globally. But now, chefs in the West are getting curious. They’re tossing it into soups, blending it into smoothies, and even making jam and cheese with it. And guess what? It’s not just about taste—it’s eco-friendly too! Turns out, growing seaweed doesn’t hog land or water like regular farming and might even trap carbon dioxide, helping our planet.

Healthy Goodness in Seaweed

Hey, it’s not just a trendy thing—seaweed’s a superfood! Packed with protein, vitamins, iron, and calcium, this sea veggie is a nutrition powerhouse.

Get Creative in the Kitchen

Ever thought of having seaweed jam on your toast? No? Well, you can cook up some wakame jam with soy sauce, garlic, and a few other goodies. It’s perfect with seafood or just as a spread on your morning slice.

Korean cuisine’s already in on this seaweed action. Chef Jun Lee from Seoul’s Soigné, a two-Michelin star spot, loves using sea veggies in his dishes. For him, seaweed brings unique flavors and textures that regular land veggies just can’t match.

Seaweed Soup for the Soul

In Korea, they’ve got this soup called miyeok-guk, made with seaweed, garlic, soy sauce, and usually some beef. It’s a big deal—folks slurp it on birthdays and to help new moms bounce back after giving birth. Chef Lee thinks it’s all about celebrating the birth and thanking moms. But guess what? Seaweed soup isn’t just an Asian thing. In Ireland, Prannie Rhatigan cooks up a cozy soup with alaria seaweed and pumpkin. It’s like a warm hug after a morning swim in the sea, she says.

Seaweed Smoothies for the Win

Here’s a wild idea: seaweed in your smoothie! Yep, Rhatigan swears by it. Mix sea spaghetti, egg wrack, bladderwrack (all kinds of seaweed) with ginger, pineapple, and spinach. Bam! You’ve got yourself a vitamin-packed drink for any time of the day.

Cheese and Butter, Seaweed Style

Now, this is where seaweed gets fancy. Ever heard of seaweed cheese or butter? Guernsey Dairy teamed up with the UK-based Seaweed Food Company to make this magic happen. They added dulse and sea lettuce (fancy seaweeds) to cheese and let it age for three months. According to Naomi Tustin, the company’s founder, it makes the cheese extra cheesy, thanks to seaweed’s flavor kick. They’ve done the same with butter too, making it perfect for your morning toast or scrambled eggs.

Bringing Seaweed to Your Plate

Excited about trying something new? Well, Seaweed Food Company’s got you covered! Their upcoming book “Vraic” in October will spill all the secrets about seaweed recipes, its history as food, and some mind-blowing dishes. Tustin’s pumped about their latest creation—onion bhajis with sea spaghetti. She’s hoping these cool recipes will change people’s minds about seaweed being all slimy and stinky.

So, there you have it! Seaweed’s breaking into the dinner scene, from toast spreads to hearty soups and even your morning smoothie. Who knew the ocean could bring so much flavor to your plate?