What is Sea Lettuce seaweed?
Sea Lettuce grows near the shore and physiologically is the closest seaweed to land plants; it is commonly found on intertidal rocks, in tide pools, on reef flats, growing on shells, other seaweed or free floating. Sea Lettuce grows naturally in a variety of shapes (ribbons, tuffs or sheets) and shades (from pale yellow to very bright or dark green) and has a distinctive aroma.
Sea lettuce is bright green – it’s colour & texture make it a wonderful addition to many dishes. It has a delicate taste and is lovely sprinkled as a garnish on a wide range of foods to increase flavour & nutrition.
Harvested and enjoyed worldwide, it is common in temperate and colder seas. Although Sea Lettuce grows in great quantities along the NZ coastline, its commercial harvest is not permitted.
Sea Lettuce can favour areas of fresh water runoff that are rich in nutrients (particularly nitrogen), so ensure it is tested before you eat Sea Lettuce. It can become invasive & smelly as it decomposes, and may contain pollution from the land.
What are the health benefits of Sea Lettuce seaweed?
Sea Lettuce is a Green seaweed and is rich in chlorophyll, iron, Vitamins A & B12. Traditionally, it has been used to help the immune system and purify the blood, to treat influenza, gout and intestinal worms.
It is an excellent source of vegetarian protein (up to 25% dry weight), calcium & magnesium; a good source of manganese & potassium. Some documents say it is rich in silica although we haven’t yet tested for this. Like most of our sea veggies, sea lettuce is said to provide considerable amounts of dietary fibre (31%).
How do I cook with Sea Lettuce seaweed?
Dried Sea Lettuce Leaves are delicate & rehydrate quickly. Their bright green colour & tissue paper texture make them a presentation asset for many dishes. Here are some Sea Lettuce recipes to inspire you
Sea Lettuce has a distinctive grassy & peppery flavour. The taste combines well with eggs, fish & shellfish (especially scallops), grains & pulses, nuts & seeds, peas, cream, butters, potatoes & cheese. The Flakes make an attractive salad sprinkle & soup garnish and can be used as a tasty and nutritious condiment for a variety of dishes and baking. Try it as a coating for cheese truffles or as one of the ingredients in this fantastic tartare!
When dried, Sea Lettuce is very light in weight and expands generously upon re-hydration. It must be stored in a dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve its colour and nutrients.
Where is Pacific Harvest’s Sea Lettuce sourced from?
Our Sea Lettuce is imported from France and tested for contaminants.
Warnings – eating Sea Lettuce seaweed
Sea Lettuce often grows in nutrient-rich waters & runoffs and can be contaminated, take care if harvesting your own. While every effort has been made to remove all foreign items, sometimes small pieces of other seaweeds or small shells may remain hidden in the dried leaves, we recommend examination before use.