Dried or frozen?
Seaweed is rich in umami, which is one of the five basic tastes, in addition to saltiness, bitterness, sweetness and sourness. This makes seaweed exceptionally well suited for seafood because it will enhance the flavor of the whole meal.
Seaweed can be used fresh (frozen) or dried. Dried is the easiest because you can simply add it directly to food or a dish, while fresh seaweed requires some work. Dried and milled seaweed can easily be added to foodstuffs, wether you choose an advanced method or a simple one is up to you. Seaweed is definitely not limited to use with just seafood, umami can and should be used to balance flavor in everything from soup to sufflet. Umami adds to the richness of all food.
Lofoten Blue Harvest cultivates top quality seaweed. Winged Kelp and Sugar Kelp are both large brown macroalgae, though they differ in size and shape. Both grow large blades, 4-6 feet long is typical in farmed seaweed, but they can grow much larger than this. Sugar Kelp is larger than Winged Kelp, but the most striking difference is the thick midrib or stalk that grows down the middle of the blades in Winged Kelp.
This makes Winged Kelp a lot tougher, and it's very noticable when used in food. The midrib gets somewhat hard when dried, so we recommend using Winged Kelp in food with some moisture so what the bits of midrib swell up and become bursting with flavor. Arctic Mustard for example uses 4 mm Winged Kelp in their products, which gives the mustard perfect flavor as well as texture.
Our seaweed products can be divided into two categories, dried and frozen.
Frozen seaweed is vacuum packaged in 2 kg bags. Dried seaweed comes in many different variants, but the packaging size is the same, 2 kg sealed bag, though without vacuum. Bulk packaging is also available on request.
- 6 mm Dried and milled Sugar Kelp
- 6-10 mm Winged Kelp stalk (midrib)
- 4 mm Dried and milled Sugar Kelp or Winged Kelp
- 2 mm Dried and milled Sugar Kelp or Winged Kelp
- 1 mm Dried and milled Sugar Kelp or Winged Kelp
The difference between Sugar Kelp and Winged Kelp gets smaller the more finely ground they are. At coarser grades the Winged Kelp will be tougher and harder to break up because of the midrib. The 4 and 6 mm grades of Sugar Kelp are light and fluffy, while 4 mm Winged Kelp will contain both fluffy and hard bits, which are from the midrib. These harder bits will also be a little larger than 4 mm. At coarser grades of milling Winged Kelp doesn't give a uniform product anymore, and is mainly just crushed stalk, around 6 - 10 mm in size.
Sugar Kelp works well as seasoning or simply as an interesting extra ingredient in any dish or product, regardless of which grade you chose. Winged Kelp generally works better in dishes that are cooked or heated to some degree, though the finest grade of Winged Kelp works well as seasoning. Coarser grades of Winged Kelp are better used in dishes that are cooked or food with some degree of moisture. This will allow the bits of stalk to swell up and absorb moisture, and turns them into wonderful little explosions of flavor.
The seaweed can easily be added to any kind of liquid or semi-liquid (viscous) products, like soups, sauces, mustards, caviars, mayonnaise, etc, the list goes on. Seaweed will give any or food product an extra dimension to the flavor and make it more interesting. What type or grade you use depends on how you want the end result to be. The finer the grade the more it will mix with the dish or product, and could cause some coloration or tint, which might be fine for some things, like soup for instance. Finely ground seaweed will absorb a lot more moisture than coarser grades, and might cause the dish or product to thicken. To avoid this just use a coarser grade.