Autumn is a wonderful time for wild food foraging in Cornwall, with rich pickings from shore to hedgerow.
Our Modern Creative for September, Caroline Davey (founder of Fat Hen wild food foraging and cookery school in West Penwith) shares two of her favourite seaweed recipes with us. Seaweed is one of the easiest wild foods to gather and cook, so if you’re new to foraging, it’s a great choice to start with. You’ll need a basket or container to collect your seaweed in, scissors, and a pair of Seasalt Deck Wellies to keep your feet dry.
Crispy Laver Seaweed
- Carefully wash and dab dry about five decent sized pieces of laver per person.
- Heat (to about 180C) enough oil to deep fry the laver.
- Add the laver in batches – beware as it can spit quite a lot – and fry until crisp (generally when it stops bubbling).
- Move and drain well on absorbent paper.
- Season with flaked sea salt and your favourite chilli flakes. My favourite at the moment is marash from Turkey.
Sesame crusted tofu with noodles, seaweed and sea beet
250g plain tofu
1 pkt of udon noodles (cook as instructed on the packet)
Large handful of laver seaweed (or other seaweed)
200ml rice wine vinegar
Large handful of sea beet
4 tbsp shoyu
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp three cornered leek, sliced
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
Red chilli, deseeded and chopped
3 tbsps white sesame seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
Sunflower oil for shallow frying
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sweet white miso
1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Place the laver seaweed into a bowl with rice wine vinegar and water and leave to pickle for an hour or two.
- Slice the tofu horizontally, then cut diagonally into eight triangles. Place the tofu in a shallow dish.
- Mix together the marinade and pour over the tofu. Leave the tofu to marinade for at least an hour, turning the tofu halfway through so that it marinates evenly.
- Make the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly.
- Mix together the tofu crust ingredients. Take the tofu pieces one at a time and dip into the mix so that the crust sticks to all sides. Shallow fry the tofu until crisp. Set aside.
- Strain the marinade and keep to pour over the noodles with the dressing.
- While the tofu is cooking bring two large pans of water to the boil. Salt the water and add the sea beet to one and the noodles to the other. Cook for a few minutes until both are soft.
- Strain the noodles; add a drizzle of sesame oil to stop the noodles sticking. Mix through the noodles.
- Pour the miso dressing onto the noodles and mix together until all the noodles are coated. Strain the laver seaweed from the pickling liquid and add to the noodles. Mix to combine.
- Place some noodles and seaweed into a bowl. Place some of the cooked sea beet on top of the noodles, then add the tofu pieces on top. Pour over the remains of the marinade, then serve.
We hope you enjoy trying out these delicious recipes!