Fresh Sea Lettuce leaves are normally a vibrant green and delicate to touch. They grow around the world in different shapes (ribbons, sheets or tufts) and can be found attached to rocks, other plans or free floating. Their colours can vary with season, location, nutrient profile in the water and currents in which they grow. When dried the colour is duller but as the seaweed is dehydrated the colours will become more vibrant.
Expect a grassy fragrance when you open a bag of Sea Lettuce, but the taste is quite peppery. If you want to adjust the flavour, sea lettuce can be soaked in a savoury stock, sweet juice or tea – the plant will absorb the flavour of whatever you soak it in.
Sea Lettuce is very light when dried compared to other seaweeds, but they expand generously when rehydrated. Take care when soaking them as the leaves are delicate and can tear easily. We provide options of sea lettuce flakes for convenience, or you can opt for the full sea lettuce leaves which you can use to wrap other foods in, or use as a garnish.
To re-hydrate sea lettuce leaves: soak a small amount of Sea Lettuce in a bowl of tepid water and retrieve it after a few seconds. It will expand about 5 x when hydrated so you don’t need a lot! Gently squeeze out the excess water and check that moisture has gone through all the layers. If not, repeat the procedure until moisture soaked through the leaf.
As our products are wild harvested it pays to double check in the folds of the leaves for foreign particles which may not have been picked up when we packed them.
To separate sea lettuce leaves: follow the procedure described above to fully re-hydrate the dry Sea lettuce then, very carefully, spread the folds and unfold the leaves until you have a single layer. If the plant is not fully re-hydrated, some leaves may remain stuck together and will break under pressure. Additionally, if the excess water is not removed, the leaves are heavy with liquid and may tear. A bit of effort to separate the leaf opens a world of opportunity so is worth the effort!
To create a paste, use a food processor and pulse. A sharp knife will take roughly the same amount of time and leave the leaf intact.