What we are doing to the oceans and its inhabitants is nothing short of criminal.
We are plundering the seas and leaving them empty and dying. We are chucking our insane piles of rubbish into the ocean as though it was simply our own personal garbage bin. We are destroying the balance of the extraordinary and complex eco-systems of the oceans, and thereby desecrating the planet as a whole. We, as a race, are apparently unstoppable….and yet millions of people are working at turning this behaviour around.
I am truly in awe of, and grateful to, all those on the front line trying to defend our seas: conservationists, cove monitors, sea-farers and fund-raisers….and many many more…
I am also glad to hear that the Taiji drive hunt season is officially over, until next September at least.
Here is my small oceanic offering, my ‘food for peace’. In the light of all the brutality and destruction.
Savoury Seaweed cakes, with a few classic flavours: lemon, mustard, capers, horseradish and mayonnaise. And also accompanied by just the faintest scent of sea air…….
But first, a brief introduction to seaweed.
Probably the one most of us know by now is Nori, because that’s what they wrap sushi in.
Arame is the next one to try. It’s mild, has a surprisingly pleasant and dry texture, and is very versatile. Simply soak for 15 mins. and then add to salads, soups and stews.
Then there’s Wakame.
This tastes more like the sea. Wakame is the one you may often find in a store-bought packet of miso soup. It has a texture that you might more readily associate with seaweed….for better or for worse 🙂
And then there’s Dulse.
Evermore like sea in flavour. Also more chewy and slippery…..
Possibly more of an acquired taste….depends on your palate I guess.
And finally, Hijiki…top level seaweed, one to work up to …ha…think I’ll leave that one for another blog…
The main thing is, all seaweeds (from a good source) are packed with minerals and trace elements, so finding ways to introduce them regularly into a vegan diet really is a very good idea.
SEACAKES, WITH CARROT AND PARSNIP CHIPS/FRIES, PEAS IN A PEA SAUCE AND CAPER MAYO.
makes 8 cakes
- 1 kg. floury potatoes
- 10gms. arame
- 8 gms. wakame
- 8 gms. dulse
- 1 sheet nori
- 6 spring onions
- 2 tbs. finely chopped parsley
- juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 2 tsps. horseradish sauce.
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 60gms. fresh breadcrumbs.
- 30 gms. flour + pinch salt and pepper
- Enough root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips: e.g. 1 carrot + 1 parsnip per. person.
- 50gms. capers
- 150gms. vegan mayonnaise (home-made or shop-bought)
- 1 tsp. mustard
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 tsp. chopped parsley
Peas in pea sauce: (for 4)
- 500gms. frozen peas
- reserved seaweed soaking water
- Cut Dulse in to small pieces.
- Crumble the Arame a little.
- In 3 separate bowls, soak the Arame, Wakame flakes and Dulse pieces in just enough water to cover.
- Toast the Nori sheet under a pre-heated grill for 2 minutes each side until it looks slightly golden and dry.
- Crumble the Nori into a separate bowl.
- Set all seaweeds aside.
- Peel, wash and chop potatoes.
- Place potatoes in a saucepan, add a pinch of salt, and enough water to cover potatoes.
- Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender.
- Strain and set aside.
Prepare caper mayo:
- In a medium bowl: mash capers roughly. Add 150gms. vegan mayonnaise, 1 tsp.mustard, pinch of salt and pepper.
- Mix well and chill until ready to serve.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
Prepare potato cakes:
- Finely slice spring onions.
- In a large bowl, place cooked potatoes and mash until fairly smooth.
- Add 1 tsp.salt, 1/2 tsp.pepper, 1 tsp.mustard, 2 tsps. horseradish sauce, and juice 1/2 lemon. Combine well. Taste as you go. Adjust flavourings accordingly.
- Over a large jug, strain Arame and reserve soaking water.
- Squeeze excess moisture out of seaweed and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- It’s important to squeeze out excess liquid otherwise the seacakes won’t hold together or cook properly.*
- Add Arame to mashed potatoes.
- Repeat with each soaked seaweed, reserving soaking water in the jug each time.
- Stir mashed potato/seaweed mix to combine.
- Add crumbled Nori to mashed potato.
- Add chopped spring onions and 2 tbs. fresh or dried chopped parsley.
- Combine everything thoroughly.
- Allow to rest 15 mins.
- Combine breadcrumbs and flour with a pinch of salt and pepper and spread on a plate.
- Form 8 seacakes (about 100-110gms. each) and coat in breadcrumb/flour mix.
- Place on a baking tray, lined with lightly-oiled baking parchment, and chill for 30 mins.
- Peel, wash and slice root vegetables into chip/fry sized batons.
- Place in a saucepan with enough water, bring to the boil, and blanche: 3 mins.
- Strain and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Spread onto a baking tray, baste or spray with oil and a pinch of salt.
- Preheat-oven to Gas Mk 7/8 220/230C.
- Roast vegetable chips/fries in hot oven for 40-50 mins. until golden.
- Spray seacakes with oil.
- Bake seacakes in hot oven Gas Mk. 7/8 220/230C 30-40mins. until golden and crispy on the outside.
- Alternatively, fry the seacakes in 2 tbs. oil for about 8-10 mins. on each side, until golden and crispy on the outside.
Peas in a pea sauce:
- Take a medium saucepan and add reserved seaweed soaking water.
- Bring to a gentle boil.
- Add peas. Boil for 2 mins.
- Strain peas, reserving cooking water.
- Blitz half the peas in a blender with approx. 200ml. of cooking water.
- Return the blitzed peas to the pan and add the rest of the peas (which are whole).
- Heat through gently until ready to serve.
- Alternatively, crack open a tin of mushy peas…… and heat up. 🙂
Novel, interesting …and very tasty!
Seacakes, vegetable chips/fries, peas in a pea sauce and caper mayo.
Dolphins, Whales, Cod, Whitebait, Seabass, Salmon, et al…
Swim Free in the sea.