A Roasted Seaweed Snack

If you live somewhere around the UK coast, you may have access to gutweed (Ulva intestinalis), which you can harvest, wash and roast into a highly tasty snack.

If the sea in your area is clean, head to a rocky beach and seek out rockpools, and/or areas where fresh water runs into the sea. Here you may find bright green, but somewhat unappetisingly named ‘gutweed’.

If you harvest a generous handful or two, try to use scissors so as not to damage the roots of the weed. Try to spread out your foraging as well so you’re not decimating any established areas of the weed. Take it home, wash it thoroughly and leave it to soak in cold tap water for about 30 minutes, rinse again, gently squeeze then place in a sieve or colander to dry out. You can occasionally squeeze it again and pat it dry with kitchen paper.

Add it to an oven-proof dish, add about 2 teaspoons of oil, half a teaspoon of salt, a tiny pinch of sugar and a pinch of garlic powder. Mix well, then place in the oven on a low heat. Leave it to slow roast and dry out, which can take anything up to an hour or so, but keep checking on the seaweed every 15 minutes or so to make sure it’s not burning. Stir it each time to make sure it cooks evenly.

When the seaweed is dried out and crispy, serve it in a small dish to accompany a drink. It’s very similar in texture and taste to the fried ‘seaweed’ you get at Chinese restaurants. Naturally, it goes very well with a martini, perhaps a Harris Gin martini, which includes seaweed as one of its botanicals.


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