This morning, we travel far from sunny Provence out to the cool, foggy Oregon Coast for a look at a revolutionary seaweed that is destined to take over the world or at least the kale share of the market. As a disclaimer, I should mention I work for a specialty food and foraging company named Foods In Season that scours the Pacific Northwest looking for unique offerings. The amazing thing about this seaweed is it tastes just like bacon when fried, which literally makes it a superfood if ever there was one; though I only made delicious seaweed chips instead.
It doesn’t hurt that it tastes like bacon when cooked.
Chuck Toombs pioneered the first seaweed farm in America, located in Newport, Oregon, and grows a red dulse unlike any other. The brilliant, marsala-colored Red Dulse is farmed in specially designed bubbling tanks filled with fresh ocean water and natural nutrients that “upwell” from 30,000 feet below the surface. It’s superior to any other dulse available because it’s farmed in a controlled environment and yields a pristine product free of pebbles and other ocean debris. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes like bacon when cooked. Its umami flavor and perfect texture make it an exceptionally versatile food that can be made into pestos, salads, burgers and many other menu items.
This seaweed is one of the most productive protein sources on the planet and can grow up to 30% a day. Each pound will consume four pounds of carbon dioxide. It is 20% protein, has more potassium than bananas and is a very healthy alternative to salt. Watch this newsclip about Red Dulse Bacon.
Here is my method for making seaweed (or kale) chips.
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 cups water
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- sea salt, black pepper and any other seasonings you enjoy!
- 1 pound fresh red dulse or kale
- Soak cashews in water for two hours.
- Put drained cashews, chopped red pepper, yeast and seasonings into a food processor and puree.
- Toss puree with dulse in a large stainless steel bowl until well coated. Don’t be alarmed by any chunks.
- Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat and pop into 170 degree oven for five to six hours.
- Check periodically to make sure it is drying evenly. I normally put this in the oven before I go to sleep.