A Short Guide to the Flavours of Mara Seaweed

Wet whole leaf dulse seaweed dripping Dulse Seaweed Flakes 30g Pouch - add to basket Furikake Seaweed Flakes 30g Pouch - add to basket Kombu Kelp Seaweed Flakes 50g Pouch - add to basket

More than a taste of the sea

In this short guide to Mara's products, we explain our flavour profiles, offer tasting notes and give you some food pairing ideas.

Of course, seaweed tastes a bit like the sea, with a naturally "sea-salty" flavour. But it's not overwhelming, like an unexpected gulp of the ocean. The flavours and varieties of Mara Seaweed are much more complex. 



Taste: nuanced, mild, sweet and salty

Appearance: jade, emerald, purple

This is Mara's secret blend of different seaweeds and a first time favourite for a lot of people. A good introduction into the culinary world of seaweed, it is both salty and sweet, with a lovely fresh 'sea' flavour.

Shony is named after an ancient Hebridean sea god and this heavenly blend is a healthy flavour boost for everyday use.

Because Shony is extremely versatile you can sprinkle it liberally on everything from breakfast eggs, for a morning mineral boost, to desserts and puddings, such as Paul Hollywood's blackberry and apple crumble topping. 

Try it on salads, pasta, roast veg and shellfish. Mix it with butter or oil and coat white meat and fish.  



Taste: iron-rich, deeply savoury, slightly smoky

Appearance: dark ruby, violet, heather

Eating dulse (palmaria palmata) is an ancient tradition in Scots and Irish culture, which Mara has brought back to modern kitchens. Known as 'Irish chewing gum' on the Green Isle, dulse has a wonderful salty, umami flavour.

Dulse is something of a 'flavour chameleon,' so it works with most dishes to bring out their best. It has a subtle saltiness that acts as a flavour enhancer and adds real depth of flavour.

Dulse goes very well with iron-rich foods such as beef and lamb, spinach and kale. It also pairs with red food, such as tomatoes and even strawberries, cherries and rhubarb. Try adding 1-2 tsp to make the most amazing fruit compote you've ever tasted. 


Applewood Smoked Dulse

Taste: like Dulse, but more 'oomph' from a slightly sweet smoke

Appearance: dark ruby purple 

Our award-winning Smoked Dulse is truly a feast for your taste buds. It has an exquisite smouldering smoky flavour, thanks to the applewood chips over which we smoke it. The smoky flavour is very complementary to dulse's natural umami qualities, making this product very more-ish.

For some, the smoke evokes a strong fish taste, for others it's more of a BBQ effect. Pair Smoked Dulse with foods that have sweet, light flavours such as scallops, soft cheeses, apples and beets. An absolute must for topping macaroni cheese or try a spoonful in chilli-chocolate brownies. A little goes a long way!

Picture chart of the flavours of Mara Seaweed

Kombu kelp

Taste: smooth, earthy, umami-rich, salty

Appearance: dark olive green, khaki

Kombu (laminaria digitata) is pure umami, also known as 'the fifth taste,' which translates as 'delicious.' This deep-water kelp is a smooth flavour enhancer.

Along with nori, kombu kelp is probably the seaweed most people are familiar with from Japanese cuisine. Its taste is reminiscent of miso soup.

But kombu isn't just limited to Asian dishes. Strong and rich, Kombu has a lingering, earthy flavour. When used in a soup or stock, it adds a whole new dimension.

Try spooning Kombu kelp into soups, stews or soaking beans. It goes wonderfully with fish and very well with strong flavours like mushrooms. Of all our seaweeds, Kombu has the 'saltiest' flavour, if you're looking to make a direct swap or reduce your intake.



Taste: savoury, salty, gentle spice

Appearance: dark purple, interspersed with red, black and white

Furikake is a popular shake-on rice seasoning in Japan, created after World War I to address the lack of calcium in the Japanese diet. Mara Seaweed’s Furikake blends fiery chilli, sesame seeds and Dulse to bring an East-West flavour fusion and a nutritional boost to any meal.

Use Furikake to deliver a delicious Asian-style flavour hit to noodles and stir-fries, or simply stir it through rice for an amazing side dish to fish, meat and curries. Particularly good with fresh and smoked salmon.


So, which seaweed will you be using in dinner tonight? Shop the whole range in our online store.


  • I have got a 30g pouch of dulse. I have a recipe that uses 20g of dried dulse reconstituted. I cannot see the soaking time for your product on the packet or on your website, please can you advise. Thank you

  • What do you recommend for thick broth , currys and stews

  • Hi Adrienne. We hope you’re enjoying the Dulse. It’s an excellent substitute in the recipe you’re trying. But you could also consider Shony – it’s extremely versatile.

    Mara Seaweed
  • Hi Don, Kombu has the ‘saltiest’ flavour so you could try that as a substitute. We also like Shony.

    Mara Seaweed
  • As a Scot who has eaten salty porridge all his life, which would you recommend I try as a salt substitute on my morning bowl of oats?

    Don Steele

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