Rey, the main character, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens trades metal pieces for a ration of freeze-dried food. As she mixes the food in water, the particles gel together to form a grey bread-like unappetizing mass. Similarly, strands of dried red seaweed, dulse (rhymes with pulse), look bland when first peeled from the packet. However, the taste is surprisingly delicious.
I was inspired to try dulse when I saw a Whole Foods advertisement for the centuries-old flavors of dulse alongside other superfoods. Found commonly on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, interest in dulse has been renewed for the food’s umami flavor and its antioxidant properties. Dulse, which belongs in the same family as seaweed and kelp, is also rich in minerals such as iodine and proteins. When fried in a little oil, dulse swaps some of its oceanic flavors for a chewy, meaty taste – more specifically, a taste that strongly reminds me of bacon.
Fresh dulse, whether from wild or farmed sources, is air-dried to preserve its nutritional properties. The dried edible seaweed keeps for a long time. Enjoy this superfood.
How To Use Dulse:
- The simplest way is eat as a snack straight from the packet, but I’ve listed some alternatives below:
- Sauté until crispy in a little vegetable oil, and serve as a side to fried or poached eggs.
- Crush the dried leaves and sprinkle on a salad for an added umami flavor.
- Mix into vegetable and fruit smoothies for additional mineral and vitamins.
- Add to soups as a garnish.