Most people’s first experience of seaweed is sushi, considered ‘fast food’ in Japan. Although sushi is delicious, and a great way to start appreciating the taste of nori, the seaweed wraps are often over processed and glazed with flavoured salty mixtures to make them shiny and resistant to the ambient moisture, which would make them susceptible to falling apart.
The recipe below won’t result in a sheet that is as crunchy as the traditional sushi wrap, but it is more resilient and contains far less sodium and other additives.
Any seaweed leaf that appeals to you can be used in order to produce wraps of various colours and flavours for example, Sugar Kelp, Dulse leaves, Kombu leaves, sea lettuce leaves or wild wakame leaves. The flavour of the leaf can also be enriched by soaking the seaweed in a liquid of your choice (a juice, herbal tea or stock) and adding herbs, seeds or spices to the mixture.
Making Sheets from Seaweed: The Recipe
Ingredients (to make a sheet 35cm x 25cm):
20g dried leafy seaweed of your choice (karengo, wild wakame, sea lettuce and dulse are tasty options)
1 big egg (optional, separated)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or other herbs/spices
Kelp salt (optional) & pepper to taste
Equipment: 35 x 25 cm Swiss roll tray lined with non-stick baking parchment
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Re-hydrate the seaweed by soaking in tepid liquid for 3-5 minutes and squeeze the excess moisture out. Please note each seaweed rehydrates differently (see below*).
- Puree the seaweed, egg yolk, herb/spice, & seasoning to taste in a food processor until smooth. (The egg will bind the mixture together to prevent it falling apart during rolling. Make sure the puree is quite consistent, otherwise pieces that are too big will separate from the sheet or make it difficult to cut).
- Separately, whisk egg whites to soft peaks and fold lightly into the seaweed mixture until evenly blended.
- Spread the mixture thinly onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper without leaving any gaps. (Optional: sprinkle desired garnish (e.g sesame seeds, chia seeds, seaweed flakes) if desired)
- Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake until set (about 10 -12 minutes)
- Turn the baked ‘roulade’ onto a new sheet of baking parchment, delicately peel the paper it was cooked in and roll loosely with the new parchment to retain shape and prevent cracking.
- Leave to cool to room temperature
- When cool, cut into three long strips with a sharp knife or fill with rice, cream cheese, pesto, noodles, vegetables, chicken or fish – anything your heart desires.
- When done, wrap each roll in film paper and refrigerate until needed – a cool roll is easier to cut neatly.
- Share your experiments with us on Facebook or via email!