May 2012 – Seaweed Safari


What a fun and informative talk and walk that was with Philip Nicholas. We had so many people there that day it was standing room only so we have also got Philip  a book voucher from the Window on the World book lounge as a thank you. We enjoyed his easy peasy vegetable and wild seaweed soup, seaweed with rice, farmed nori snacks and my simple salmon and seaweed puffs. (a slice of nori sandwiched between two sheets of puff pastry that had been brushed with egg white. Cut into bite size squares. Brush with more eggwhite and press shreds of smoked salmon on top firmly. Bake at 180 deg for about 15 mins till puffed and golden.

Phillip’s favourite seaweed – a type of kelp we think, golden brown ribbony strands each attached to a a little float before the main stalk. Just needs a rinse in the sea before nibbling fresh or drying in a warm room and storing in a glass jar. ( never use fresh water until you want to cook it or it will swell up and disintegrate instead of drying crisply.) Being incredibly nutritious, imperishable and light when dried they make perfect bushwalking tucker.

Eve volunteers to wash our kelp

Although Philip often collects from the water in warmer weather while swimming, we foraged that cool autumn day at low tide and from the rock pools inspecting the specimens for signs of decay  (darkening,) and eggs or little creatures living on the leaves which won’t dry so well although such extras are considered delicacies in some cultures. Only Josie had the good sense to bring along her gumboots! Beware – there was a sewage overflow around the corner from Penguin beach in March. Philip does his collecting in areas with cleaner, deeper waters like Boat harbour and Sisters beach that favour good kelp beds. He had his weeds tested early in his collecting days some thirty years ago, for arsenic but unfortunately the testing methods unhelpfully lumped organic and inorganic arsenic together.

Tasty seaweed

Neptune's Necklace

Neptune’s Necklace – nice salty little nibbles

Lovely golden colour and sweet to nibble when fresh from tide pools in Wynyard. This specimen was a bit old to collect.

Attractive colour but sadly not very tasty. Philip says this is one he just hasn’t found the knack of resuscitating

Poisonous Seaweed Phaeophyta Desmarestia – from the sea vegetable book. All seaweeds are edible, if not equally tasty, apart from this one.

Poisonous Seaweed

Poisonous Seaweed Phaeophyta Desmarestia



seaweed and radiation poisoning


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