One of Our Five A Day : A Guide to Seaweed

If you've been following our journey you will remember a while back we were lucky enough to feature in the little beauty that is ernest journal.  We took to high seas on our trusty steeds pulling up our lobster and crab pots to find our bounty of the day and share with ernest readers how to forage for sea vegetables, prepare our catch & cook it up in the wild.

One of our all time foodie treats is seaweed and we eat so much of it we have renamed it one of our five a day! So we thought we would spread the seaweed love and share with you (as seen in ernest journal print issue 2) our guide to a few of our faves...

(Clockwise from top left)

Pepper dulse, Osmundea pinnatifida
You can find pepper dulse growing in layers on rocks in intertidal zones. Again it’s not a commonly eaten seaweed but in small quantities it is a real treat with a unique salty, peppery flavour. Throw it into fish dishes as a seasoning or on top a salad to give it a powerful peppery taste. In Scotland it used to be gathered and dried as a substitute for pepper. In fact, it’s still a key ingredient in some traditional Highland soups and dishes.

Saw toothed wrack, Fucus serratus
Saw toothed wrack grows in heavy bunches on the lower shore, just above the low water mark on sheltered, rocky shores. It is not usually used as a food, as it is often harvested for use in cosmetics, but just like its cousin the bladderwrack it makes a great tea or Japanese noodle soup. You can also use it to add flavour to a stew or to sauté your fish over (see method, below left). Alternatively, you can dry it, grind it down to a powder and use it as a salty condiment.

Gutweed, Ulva intestinalis
This is a great seaweed to start with, because if you get it wrong, you’re not going to make yourself ill. It’s like the wild garlic of the seaweed world. You can find this green stringy seaweed in rock pools and salt marshes and it’s easy to spot because it has a passing resemblance to intestines, hence the name. You can bake it into bread or throw it into omelettes, but I like to trick my children into eating it by sneaking some into a stir fry or fajitas. Just chuck it in for the last 30 seconds of cooking.

Bladderwrack, Fucus vesiculosus
You’ll find this in shallow rocky areas. You can use the young tips to make a salad or lightly steam them as a side vegetable. For the ultimate seaweedy taste, you can sauté your fish over them. Simply place them in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan with some butter and cook your fish on top. The oil is also good for gnarly old sea hands. If you pop the bubbles and rub it into your hands, it’ll moisturise your skin a treat.

* A guide to edible seaweed as featured in ernest journal print issue 2  |  images courtesy of justin glynn  |  words dan scott (the salty sea dog) at fore/adventure