Seaweed Species

Kombu (Laminaria digitata)

kombuKombu is a vigorous and vital brown seaweed with leathery sheet-like bladesthat is mainly found on exposed coasts with strong wave action.

Kombu has been an irreplaceable staple in Asian cuisines for thousands of years as it has a deep umami taste. Moreover, it is considered a source of longevity because of its high iodine content, balanced content of minerals and trace elements, such as iron, calcium, potassium, carotene, phosphorus, and high vitamin content (B, A, C, K, D and E). It is also a natural source of glutamic acid, producing antioxidant glutathin, which is able to bind free radicals and assist with sugar and fat metabolism. It can be used in stripes in cooking, flaked in a spice mixture, milled as a substitute for a salt or powdered and blended in smoothies.

Kombu rehydrates well after 15-20 min in cold water and softens after 30-40 min simmering.

Kombu can be fried, grilled, baked or stir-fried. It is perfect for wrapping around a fish before grilling. When used in cooking legumes, it takes out their gassiness.

Taste

Kombu has a deep umami flavour but at the same time has sweet, salty and smoky flavours. Kombu serves as a base in Asian soup stocks preparations, i.e., miso, dashi and ramen.

Kombu has profound UMAMI taste, the 5th taste, caused by its naturally high glutamic acid content. UMAMI taste activates better when heated, or sprinkled on any warm dishes, for example on rice, noodles, potatos, couscous, meat, pizza, grilled cheese, and eggs.

Picking season

The prime time to pick Kombu is from March to June; the blades are too small before March and epiphytes (animals and other seaweed) settle onto the blades after June. It has a long shelf life when stored in dry areas.

Kelp (Saccharida latissima)

Kelp is a brown seaweed consisting of a single frond, growing up to 7 m long and 40 cm broad. It is found in protected bays with less wave action. Its colour changes throughout the season from dark golden brown in December to February to light brown to green in March and April. Kelp is rich on iron, potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and beta- carotene. Kelp contains up to 14% of the sugar alcohol mannitol, which gets expelled onto the leaves when dried, leaving white patches on the blades as well as high level of alginates and can be used as a thickening agent.

Taste

Kelp has a sweet flavour with a hint of liquorice and it is easily used in cooking. Dry kelp has a strong umami taste and it is excellent as a taste enhancer. Sprinkle on salads, fish or pizza. Perfect in woks and soups, and can be used together with Kombu in Asian soup stock bases.

In powder form it is excellent to add kelp to bread or pasta doughs as it helps the yeasting process and ads minerals and vitamins. In fact, up to 10 % of flour can be substituted by kelp.

Picking season

The young golden-brown thin leaves of kelp can be picked as early as December or January. The leaves change colour during the season to green and yellow brown. Fresh sugar kelp is best to pick before mid-April, before the epiphytic growth of other organisms disrupts the integrity of its blades. It has a long shelf life when stored in dry areas.

 

Sea oak (Fucus vesiculosus)

sea oakAs the names suggest, sea oak is a brown seaweed growing 15-90 cm long, with a branching frond with usually two spherical blades. Sea oak grows in the upper tidal area and its air-filled gas bladders at the tip of its blade float at the surface. It is rich in vitamins A and E, iron, natrium, potassium and phosphorus as well as trace elements calcium, magnesium, iron, mangan and zink and others. Sea oak is also high in antioxidants.

Taste

Sea oak is mild, fruity, salty, and nutty in flavor with a fabulous texture. When you bite into the air-filled bladders you will experience a taste sensation of the ocean and oysters.

The sea oak can be cooked or blanched, cooled in ice water, picked, and eaten raw in a salad. The Scandsea dehydrated Seaweed Pops are truly one of a kind. They are perfect as a snack or used as a decoration while plating food dishes adding crunch and the taste of the sea.

Picking season

Sea oak can be picked any time during? the high summer. The vitamin content changes during the season. In the winter the seaweed lacks the profound gas-filled bladders and the top of the plant is used mostly in salads, stir-fries or for drying and crushing into spices. During spring the gas-filled bladders are formed and picked and either used fresh or dried as our Seaweed Pops.

Knotted kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum)

knotted kelpThis brown seaweed is found in the upper tidal region. Its gas-filled bladders hold the knotted kelp floating on the sea surface. It grows V shaped tips in the spring. It is rich in natrium, potassium and phosphorus as well as in trace elements calcium, magnesium, iron, mangan and zink. It is also high in antioxidants and vitamin E.

Taste

Knotted kelp has a nutty flavour. Knotted kelp should to be boiled until it is soft and therefore it is perfectly suited in dishes with a longer cooking time such as soups, stews and chowders. The subtle taste of the Sea is enhanced by adding a lemon to the cooked seaweed. It is also possible to cook Knotted kelp first for 10-20 minutes and then marinate or fry. However, its V-shaped tips are excellent to pickle and use as garnish or in salads.

Picking season

The best picking time for Knotted kelp is the spring. The V-shaped tips start to form from late March to May.

Grass Kelp (Ulva intestinalis)

Grass kelp is agreen, tubular seaweed growing up to 15 cm in length. It is rich in natrium, mangan, potassium and calcium, and vitamins A, C and B Vitamins. It is suitable to eat both fresh and dried. Fresh grass kelp with a few drops of lemon is great in a salad or mixed in a pasta dish. Dry grass kelp goes well to fry or deep-fry which brings up the bright green color and interesting shape. Or why not top your focaccia with grass kelp to add some extra crispiness, saltiness and vitamin boost? Flaked or milled grass kelp can be added into spice mixes (i.e. Japanese Shichimi) or sprinkled over food. Its beautiful bright green color is incomparable.

Taste

Grass kelp has a sweet and salty taste with a mild taste of the sea. When deep-fried, it has a slight taste of crunchy white truffle.

Picking time

Grass kelp can be picked from spring to autumn. The length of the blades is season-dependent.

Serrated wrack (Fucus serratus)

Serrated wrack is a brown seaweed that can grow up to 60 cm. Its colour ranges from olive green to brown. Fronds are serrated. Only the newly grown tips are suitable for consumption. It is high in vitamin E.

Taste

Serrated wrack has a fresh taste of salt, nuts and peas.

Picking time

The best harvesting season for serrated wrack is March to June.

Carrageen (Chondrus crispus)

carrageenCarrageen, also called Irish moss, is a red seaweed which can grow up to 20 cm long’ its growth is greater at deeper depth and it varies in morphology depending on the level of exposure. Carrageen colour also varies from yellow to red to purple black. Its main constituent is polysaccharide carrageenan (E407). Carrageen has a high content of minerals, such as iron, potassium, natrium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and trace elements such as Iron, mangan, zink, copper and selenium, and vitamins A, C, E, and B Vitamins and nearly 10% of its dry weight is protein.

Carrageen is used commercially as a vegan replacement for gelatine, as a thickener and stabilizer in milk products, and can be also milled and used in baking. Carrageen is one of the most beautiful seaweeds and can be used rehydrated in salads, pickled as a garnish on dishes, as topping on pies or as a garnish in cocktails. Traditionally in Ireland and Scotland it is boiled in milk and strained, before adding sugar and other flavourings such as whiskey, vanilla or cinnamon. The end product is jelly-like, similar to panna-cotta.

Taste

Carrageen tastes like a mixture of vegetable and seafood with a profound umami flavour.

Picking season

Carrageen is harvested all year round.

Forked seaweed (Furcellaria lumbricalis)

forked seaweedForked seaweed is a red alga, usually dark-red to black in color. It grows between 5-20 cm in height and it is found in shallow water, below the low tide water mark in Sweden. Also called black carrageen or Baltic agar, it is used as a thickening agent and a vegan substitute to gelatin. It is beautiful as a decoration while plating your dishes after first, rehydratingd in fresh water.

Taste

Forked seaweed is crispy, tasting of smoked tea.

Picking time

Forked seaweed is harvested all year round.

Dulce, Söl (Palmaria palmata)

dulceDulce is a red seaweed growing on stipes of Laminaria hyperborea. Blades grow to 10-50 cm in length. Dulce has a high mineral content such as potassium, natrium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, vitamins A, B-Vitamins, C, and E and trace elements of iron, zink, mangan and copper content. Dulce also has a high protein content. It can be eaten dried and raw as a snack or sprinkled on sandwiches.

Dulce’s properties are similar to those of a flavor-enhancer and it is therefore perfect to crumble into soups, curries, chowders and pasta sauces. It can be pan-fried quickly into chips, baked in the oven covered with cheeses, with salsa, or added to bread, pizza of pasta dough. Dulce is also great in mayonnaise. Dulce is great to use in innovative desserts such as ice-creams.

Taste

Dulce has a unique sweet-salty, smoky taste, reminiscent of bacon, and it is rich on umami.

Picking time

Dulce is very rare in Sweden and we pick it only in Norway during spring.

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