Sous seaweed recipes

Sous seaweed recipes

“Sous seaweed” recipes utilize the technique of sous vide cooking without adding plastic to our environment. Sous vide involves cooking any food in a vacuum sealed plastic bag at low water temperature for hours.  This ensures that vital nutrients are retained in the food and the food achieves maximal tenderness and taste. Similarly, seaweeds can seal in the moisture of foods to retain tenderness, plus impart umami to enhance the taste of the food.  Let’s explore some sous seaweed recipes.

Sous seaweed recipes: a take on sous vide cooking

Practiced by many cultures for centuries, sous seaweed or cooking food wrapped in seaweed is biodegradable, and makes economic se Furthermore, seaweeds can impart umami taste which plastic sous vide bags can’t. As a background, Bruno Goussalt, French chef and scientist, who in 1991, founded Centre de Recherche et d’Etudes pour L’Alimentation (Culinary Research and Education Academy or CREA) in Paris to teach how to cook foods safely with the sous vide method he developed (1). For many years, only professional cooks and those trained in the sous vide utilized this method.  However, with the advent of home sous vide kits (that will set you back at least $150 to start) the public can get in on the act.  For the most part, cooking sous vide is safe. The only risk is when the sous vide food is not eaten immediately (2). Clostridium difficile and other aerobic (oxygen loving) pathogens can potentially grow on sous vide foods that are improperly stored after cooking (2).

Poached sous seaweed recipes reuse all food items

seaweedcabin sous seaweed recipes

My favourite way is to poach the fish in a packet wrapped with Saccharina latissima or sugar kelp which grows close to the shore, easily harvestable. Be sure to cut only the top third of the plant leaving most of the blade, stipe and holdfast to regrow. The blade is the perfect size to wrap a fillet of fish.  In this method, you can ensure that aromatics and other seasonings remain on the fish and don’t float away in the poaching fluid. You can taste every distinct seasoning, even the lemon infused olive oil, once the fish is unwrapped. Afterwards, dry the kelp in the oven and grind it down to kelp powder. Re-use the poaching fluid as dashi broth. Nothing goes to waste in this method.

Before you invest in an expensive sous vide kit, consider cooking your food wrapped in seaweed.  The results will be just as tender and tasty. You also will not put another piece of plastic in the environment.

Salmon sous seaweed (featured image)

Sugar kelp or large sheet or dried kombu soaked in water for 10 min.

1 fillet of salmon, skin on

drizzle of lemon infused olive oil

chopped garlic

chives

ground pepper

Season salmon on kelp blade.  Wrap kelp around salmon, tuck in sides and hold together with kitchen twine.  Poach on low heat for about 5-10 min. Sous vide guides for fish advise 50 C for 40 min. if you have a thermometer. Serve immediately. Keep poaching fluid for dashi. Dry kelp blade in oven at 200 F until crispy and grind into powder with spice grinder for later use.

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2017, December 28). Bruno Goussault. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:45, April 13, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bruno_Goussault&oldid=817508518
  2. Berkley Wellness. “Sous vide: really, really slow food”. July 14, 2016. Retrieved on 2018/04/13 from http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/sous-vide-really-really-slow-food.