Fish & seaweed dish by Chef Joe Baugh, Jersey UK.
Sea Lettuce is common around the world and grows well in many different climates. It grows naturally in a variety of shapes (ribbons, tuffs or sheets) and can be flat or ruffled, thick and waxy or tissue like and translucent. The colour can vary from pale yellow to dark green. All these different species of Sea Lettuce are grouped under the family name ‘Ulva’, a latin name for ‘marsh plant’. Physiologically, Sea Lettuce is the closest seaweed to a land plant.
Sea Lettuce grows in calm waters, quiet bays, salt marshes as well as rocky areas near the shore. It is commonly found on intertidal rocks, in tide pools, on reef flats, growing on shells, other seaweed or free floating. It often favours areas of fresh water runoff that are rich in nutrients (particularly nitrogen), where it grows prolifically and can become invasive & smelly as it decomposes.
Sea Lettuce is sometimes called green laver or green nori because of its similarity to Nori, but has a distinctive aroma and taste. It has been consumed as a food all over the world for a long time.
Sea Lettuce is said to reduce inflammation, tone the skin, promote collagen & elastin formation and repair. Hydrating & nourishing, it is said to increase skin vitality & brightness.