Gift Guide, Day 28

December 21, 2014


Gifts from the Sea

We're getting close to Christmas, and  I've been wandering the aisles of local shops, looking for plausible presents.  That's when I saw the seaweed. 

Kombu comes in dried ribbons that unfurl into long sheets that are at least as tall as I am. It's wonderful stuff. 

A small piece steeped in simmering soup for fifteen minutes adds an extra layer of depth that's delicous – very hard to place.  Kombu also does wonderful stuff to braises and stews: reconstitute a wide piece, drape it on the surface of  a slowly cooking stew and notice how it locks in flavor. It makes wonderful seaweed salad.  And there‚Äôs nothing better than homemade dashi. 

You'll find seaweed in the Asian aisle of your supermarket.  If you have access to a Japanese store, I recently discovered that Sunrise Mart, in New York, sells my favorite seaweed, mozuku, already marinated. It makes the seaweed salad now sold in every sushi aisle seem silly. 


Want to explore other exotic seaweeds Rising Tide Sea Vegetables, offers an entire range of seaweeds sustainably harvested on the West Coast. 

Think of it as a fashion-forward present; we don't eat a whole lot of seaweed now.  But it's definitely in our future. 

Categorised in:

1 Comment

  • judy north says:

    Ruth, Thank you so much for the Epices de Cru recommendation. I used the Tagine spices
    to cook the chicken for Mohammeds Bistilla recipe from Tender at the Bone. I made it first
    for a whole group of hungry Elk hunters in Montana a few years ago. None of them had ever
    eaten anything like it. They loved it and still talk about it whenever I see them.
    I’m making it now for Christmas Eve, but with a new flavor thanks to you again. The spices are so
    fresh and pungent. Judy North