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Liveaboard in Florida
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I first published this method in the 48 North sail magazine about two years ago. My Korean girlfriend always begged me to bring home fresh kelp leaves.

Pacific Northwest Bull Kelp leaves are delicious if you know how to prepare! From the floating bulb the leaves that trail off on the current grow very fast in the summer and are tender and delicious. It is legal to harvest with a shellfish/seaweed gathering permit. Does not kill the plant. Approach the kelp stand in your dink with a bucket, boat hook and long sharp knife. Pull the floating leaves close to your gunnel with the boat hook, cut off the leaves of the rooted plant leaving the first 24 inches from the bulb intact for future growth. The remaining leaves are 4 to 6 feet long. Sever and discard the oldest part of the leaves which get chewed up and tough as they age.

Take your bucket of leaves in the galley and cut into manageable 4 to 6 inch sections with scissors. Boil a half gallon of water for the blanching process. Dip the sections very briefly using tongs. Two things happen immediately - the color changes from dark green to an appetizing light green as the brown algae cells die, and all the slime coating vanishes. No further cooking needed. The vegetable that is left gives a satisfying squeak on the teeth and is tender. Very healthy and good for the digestion.

Ideas for eating -

Place a small ball of rice and a piece of smoked salmon or other seafood in the middle of a kelp leaf section. Roll it up, dip in soy sauce and pop in your mouth like sushi. This is addictive!

Chop into small strips and serve with soy sauce or seasoned rice vinegar. Garnish with a pinch of toasted sesame seeds. A small salad like this is five bucks in a sushi joint.

Add to ramen or asian noodle dishes.

The blanched leaves last a week in the fridge or, if seasoned rice vinegar is added to the container, they become mildly pickled and last a month or more, retaining a nice mild flavor. Can also be frozen.

If you have the time and patience the blanched leaves can be hung on a thin monofilament line in the sun and will dry to a thin papery texture that keeps well and will instantly reconstitute in hot water.

Please post any additional seaweed recipe ideas you have.
 

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Anyone know off-hand what the nutritional content is? My wife is a stickler for that kind of info :)
 

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Stupid question, but are there any health hazards to be aware of? Such as, "Don't gather kelp in Region X due to toxic algal blooms" or anything of that nature?
 

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Liveaboard in Florida
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Safety and nutrition

Some good questions. Instinctively I feel that anywhere open to seafood gathering should be safe for eating kelp. The blanching process clears off surface slime and that chould clear any algae bloom residue that was clinging to the leaves. Summer leaves grow up to a foot each day, not much time to absorb undesirable elements.

If you are lucky you might encounter fresh fish eggs on the leaves, this is one of the most highly desired types of sushi.

Alginate is one of the main ingredients in kelp, you may have heard of this being harvested and used as a thickener in ice cream and other popular foods. It is a soluble fiber and is a very good digestive aid especially if you have any fast or slow bowel function issues. Also seaweeds are rich in iodine. Does not taste salty to me, not sure about sodium content. Sun dried seaweeds more likely to have sodium.

By the way, kelp leaves are too fragile for cooking, it will break them down quickly so add them to soups last before serving.
 

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We eat the stuff all the time. One of our favourites is stuffing the seaweed inside a tofu pocket with rice. Even better with a BBQ prawn or a piece of sashimi.

I confess this is all courtesy of our local Sushi Bar. Never have collected and cooked seaweed myself. I should and will next time we are anchored in a less populated port than Sydney.
 

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Even a book that identifies the world's fish and which are edible would help.
Have to start the search for that one. There are some pretty good seafood cookbooks around but ones that have an international outlook are rare. I'll need to check the exact title but we have one by Englishman Rick Stein that gives non Euro alternatives to all the fish he used in the book.

edit .. this is it .. (for some reason RS is narky about me posting an image showing the cover of his book but its called Seafood Lovers Guide.) Its at home and I'm not so cannot tell you if he mentions seaweed.

The inimitable Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage fame is also very keen on foraging and while I don't own this book (yet) I'm sure it would contain lots of info on edible forageable goodies.



River Cottage - Home
 

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When I pull a fish out of the water, my first questions are "what is this thing, and how do I eat it?" If I could find a book that could answer those questions (including the "how to clean it" implied in the "how do I eat it"), that would be awesome!

Also, any idea if this kelp preparation technique works on the kelp we have here in the northeast? Is it safe to eat the stuff we have around here?
 

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Also, any idea if this kelp preparation technique works on the kelp we have here in the northeast? Is it safe to eat the stuff we have around here?
You probably have one of the world's highly prized culinary weeds at your doorstep: Dulse. Palmaria palmata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I haven't heard of any poisonous large seaweeds; unpalatable maybe, or growing on rocks in front of crowded, leaking septic systems. :puke

Single celled algae is a different matter, but normal people aren't going to be chowing down on pond scum.
 

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You probably have one of the world's highly prized culinary weeds at your doorstep: Dulse. Palmaria palmata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I haven't heard of any poisonous large seaweeds; unpalatable maybe, or growing on rocks in front of crowded, leaking septic systems. :puke

Single celled algae is a different matter, but normal people aren't going to be chowing down on pond scum.
I just saw a episode of Andrew Zimmerman on the travel channel. He was eating sea grapes in a salad in the Caribbean. That's exactly what I need to know. What is a sea grape and how do you know it walking the beach? :)
 

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I just saw a episode of Andrew Zimmerman on the travel channel. He was eating sea grapes in a salad in the Caribbean. That's exactly what I need to know. What is a sea grape and how do you know it walking the beach? :)
Whoa! Up here sea grapes are the spherical form of Derbesia. Green translucent globes about 1/2" in diameter. The other phase is a stringy mat. Definitely one of those "You can eat that??" things if he was eating the same genus.

Looks like Derbesia is found world-wide, so it might well be a similar plant found in the Caribbean:

Derbesia Solier, 1846: 452 :: Algaebase
 

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When I pull a fish out of the water, my first questions are "what is this thing, and how do I eat it?" If I could find a book that could answer those questions (including the "how to clean it" implied in the "how do I eat it"), that would be awesome!

Also, any idea if this kelp preparation technique works on the kelp we have here in the northeast? Is it safe to eat the stuff we have around here?
I like this book for you fishy question.

March 2004 Book Review
 
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