How to Cook Seaweed and Red Meat
A shared history
For this installment of ‘how to cook with seaweed,’ we explore matching Mara and meat, bringing together the flavours of Scotland’s land and seas. The deep umami flavours in seaweed work well with red meat to enhance its own satisfying, moreish taste, without the need for salt.
Cooking meat with seaweed is not a new idea. Generations of coastal communities have enjoyed the combination, and animals with a seaweed diet, such as Orkney’s North Ronaldsay sheep or Welsh salt marsh lamb, have a unique taste thanks to their iodine-rich diet. Now, this special flavour can be replicated at home.
Hand-harvested seaweed from a pure environment, handled by experts, tastes better and has more nutritional value. Meat is the same.
So to give you the best advice, we partnered with Quality Meat Scotland, who represent the Scottish red meat industry. Just as Mara’s approach to sustainability and traceability is key to what we do, QMS work with local farmers who pride themselves on quality and provenance.
Seaweed makes meat tastier
Meat gets its flavour from the way fat, natural sugars and umami proteins combine during cooking, so the amount of fat in a cut of meat and how it’s cooked affects flavour. Seaweed itself is a rich source of umami, and adding it to meat only increases tastiness. Think of it this way: seaweed and meat is another form of surf and turf!
Enjoy healthier meat dishes with seaweed
Many people season beef, pork and lamb with salt, which pulls out moisture, creating more intense flavours. However, adding salt can result in unhealthy meals. Seasoning with seaweed instead can accentuate taste and add health benefits.
Seaweed is 85% lower in sodium and gets its flavour from healthy mineral salts. The vitamins and minerals in seaweed can help the body absorb the nutrients in red meat, too. For instance, vitamin C in seaweed enables the absorption of iron.
How do I match Mara Seaweed with Scotch Beef, Lamb and Pork?
Mara Seaweed’s small, delicate flakes and fine powders offer a fuss-free approach to seasoning meat, adding flavour without texture. They work especially well combined with minced meats and in rubs and marinades.
Try these combinations:
- Dulse works very well with other iron-rich foods, so it complements red meat best. Try it with Scotch beef or lamb, especially brisket, fillet steak and slow cooked lamb shoulder. Use Smoked Dulse for an extra meaty, BBQ flavour.
- Kombu pairs well with pork, adding a salty juiciness. The deep coastal notes add balance and lets other flavours sing.
- Shony is fragrant and adds accents to lighter dishes, including the crust of this gorgeous rack of lamb.
- If you’re looking to add a contrasting texture, choose Furikake for a savoury crunch and a kick of spice. Great in fajitas or beef stir fry.
For more information on the flavours of Mara Seaweed, explore the tasting notes on our product pages or our guide to Mara's flavour profiles.
When shopping for meat, look for the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork logos to make sure you’re buying top quality products with outstanding taste. Scotch Beef and Lamb is born, reared and processed in Scotland and holds whole life quality assurance. If the product is described as Scottish beef or lamb, this means that the animal was born, reared and processed in Scotland, but it has no quality guarantees.
Ideas and recipes
Eating seasonally is always a good approach for natural products. Now, in August, both lamb and dulse are in season, so try these combinations:
- Simple lamb koftas from The Seaweed Cookbook, ideal with flatbreads and tzatziki.
- This hearty Moroccan stew with lentils and chickpeas has a rich tomato sauce, packed with aromatics.
- A classic shepherd’s pie is all the more delicious with a twist of Smoked Dulse (plus a little Shony, and a lot of butter, in the mash!)
Dulse with beef is a winner too.
- You’ll love marinated rare beef, also from The Seaweed Cookbook; a perfectly sophisticated starter.
- These gourmet burgers with oyster sauce are made with love, and miles better than store-bought or fast food equivalents.
- Try adding 2 heaped teaspoons of Smoked Dulse to the herb mix in these Italian style meatballs for a new family favourite.
Looking for pork dishes?
- Our recipe for loin steak is delicious with a Kombu and lemon coating.
- Crispy pork belly with Kombu is an enticing Sunday lunch, and wonderful at casual dinner parties.
- 2 teaspoons of Furikake, added with the lime juice in these Thai pork lettuce cups, is a healthy treat.
Always remember to serve your meat dishes with a complimentary side, featuring lots of vegetables and healthy grains to reduce the amount of fat you eat. You’ll find some great salads here on our website.
Over to you
Do you already cook with seaweed and meat? Share your favourite dishes with us in the comments, or post your #MaraMeals on Instagram.