My first experience with sea vegetables was in a macrobiotic cooking class in Austin, TX. I think my instructor, Dawn Ludwig, taught us at least eight recipes that day using a variety of different sea vegetables. Although this has changed dramatically, most of the dishes I tasted that day were barely tolerable. Until we got to the sea palm dish.
One thing to know about me is that I am a fourth generation Pacific Northwest girl. The minute I got a whiff of the sea palm cooking I was so drawn to it that it was uncanny. I loved the way it smelled and the way it tasted. I couldn’t get enough. It reminded me of fishing with my grandfather. It felt like home. After class I went up and asked her about it. That was when she told me that of all the seaweeds she cooked for us, the sea palm was the only one that was harvested off the west coast of the United States. I love having that experience of feeling so connected to my natural environment.
I didn’t have a chance to harvest sea palm last weekend, but want to share this recipe with you anyway. Sea palm has a different texture than most seaweeds found commercially. It rehydrates into flat strips. I suppose you can leave them long and use them like noodles, but I like to cut them into bite size pieces. I buy my sea palm from a company out of California called Rising Tide Sea Vegetables. You can order it online or find stores near you on their website. Sometimes I can find it in Seattle.
Sea Palm with Corn and Onion
2 tsp unrefined sesame or olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into thin half moons
3/4 cup fresh uncooked corn kernels, cut from the cob
about 1/2 cup dried sea palm, rehydrated 10 minutes in water to cover
2 tsp shoyu or gluten-free tamari
1. In a medium skillet, saute the onion until translucent.
2. Drain the sea palm and cut into bite size pieces. Make a mound out of the onion in the center of the skillet and put the corn and then the sea palm on top. Add 1/2 cup of water around the edges. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Add a little more water if it becomes dry.
3. Add the shoyu or tamari. Stir. Cook for about 7 more minutes.
You can use frozen corn added near the end of cooking time instead of fresh corn.
Other vegetables may be used as well. Thicker matchstick carrots are yummy in this dish.