I have tasted many versions of this sweet and salty crunch in the past year, including one prepared by Chef Zephyr Dunnicliffe during my seaweed adventure. Zephyr used brown rice syrup and dried kelp harvested off the coast of the San Juan Islands. Here is another version from The Seaweed Man.
However, the following recipe is by far my favorite. I am a sucker for maple syrup and adding shoyu equals bliss. The base for this recipe comes from The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics, a fun book by an even funnier gal, Jessica Porter. She also has a new book just out called The MILF Diet.
I have made a few changes to Jessica’s recipe, mostly out of necessity because I was short on both sesame seeds and almonds. I also reduced the oil because the first batch came out really oily. Using black sesame seeds definitely adds visual appeal. I used both black and brown ones. Feel free to add what inspires you, just keep the same ratios. For my next batch I am thinking hazelnuts and shredded coconut, what do you think?
Seed and Nut Crunch with Nori
1/4 cup sesame or olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup (or brown rice syrup)
1 tsp unpasteurized shoyu or gluten-free tamari
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup black or brown sesame seeds
4 sheets nori, torn or cut into small 1/2″ pieces
1. Oven to 325°.
2. In a medium size saucepan on low medium heat, bring the oil and maple syrup to a moderate boil. Let it boil for about 2 minutes and until it becomes frothy. However, if it boils for too long (like 5 minutes) it may start turning into candy and will be hard to mix the other ingredients in.
3. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the rest of the ingredients. Try to separate the nori as you pour it into the pan as it will tend to clump. Stir well.
4. Pour seed mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place more parchment on top and roll thin with a rolling pin. Remove top parchment. Place in oven and bake for 10-20 minutes. My oven takes 20 minutes. Check it frequently during the last 5 minutes to prevent burning. Keep baking until it turns a medium brown on the edges otherwise it won’t be crispy enough when it cools. Remove from oven and let cool.