4 Ways to Enhance Chefs' Recipes with Seaweed

Chef Paul Wedgwood using Mara Seaweed

Edible seaweed: your time to shine

Mara Seaweed co-founder Xa Milne, author of The Seaweed Cookbook, is of course no stranger to the kitchen. In this blog, Xa chooses some of her favourite chefs and their recipes, and shows you how seaweed powder and seaweed flakes can add even more oomph to your meals.


A cook’s most versatile ingredient

The wonderful thing about ground, dried seaweed is that it can seamlessly slot into your everyday kitchen armoury. Turn the most ordinary dish into a proper nutrition powerhouse whilst injecting a rush of taste with a mere shake and a stir.


Great inspirations

Many of our best-loved chefs, including Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, are seaweed fans already. Lets look at how Mara fits easily into their dishes: the variations are endless, but these are a few of our favourites.


1. Enhance fish

Jamie Oliver’s pan-fried fillet of cod with parsley, capers and brown butter, from The Naked Chef

Now cod is back on the list of fish we can eat, this seems to be a good place to start. Instead of coating the fillets with flour, dust both sides with healthier, tastier Dulse. Not only will this prevent the fish from sticking to the pan, but when sautéed in nutty olive oil the fabulous umami flavour of dulse gives a flavour boost, as well as health benefits. With the capers, parsley and squeezed lemon you have the perfect medley of complementary flavours.


2. Add depth to rice dishes

Nigel Slater’s risotto

A dish as simple as risotto is easy to dress up, as long as you have the right ingredients. The building blocks of onion, butter, rice and good chicken stock are crying out for a spoonful of Kombu Powder. As well as alchemy, there is synergy in using umami foods together and the overall taste is greater. Chuck in some chopped herbs and Parmesan and even another bit of butter – bingo. Taste sensation.


3. A healthy seasoning

Yotam Ottolenghi’s slow cooked chickpeas on toast with poached egg from Plenty More

There are many umami ingredients in this recipe which work well with seaweed, including onion, garlic, tomato puree, tomatoes and red peppers. Either substitute the 2 teaspoons of Middle Eastern spice mix za’atar for our seaweed blend Shony, or use both. Try sprinkling some on the poached eggs to add a “nautical but nice” twist to the dish.


4. Create balance

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s roast carrots with butter, cumin and orange

This recipe works well with an addition of seaweed alchemy: there is already a sweetness in the dish, and a squeeze of citrus balances the saltiness of the seaweed. As a final flourish, swap salt and pepper for a more sophisticated touch with Furikake. A seaweed seasoning with sesame and chilli, our own version of a Japanese topping means East truly does meet West deliciously.


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