|Tide is out - dinner is served! Note dinner bag in Nora's right hand|
Wednesday evening as I drove back from work in the sunshine I noticed that it was low tide in Mill Bay. The kids are on spring break so I decided it was a good day to visit the beach. I had the idea that since the kids love the seaweed chips we buy at Cost Savers why not make some for ourselves?
So down to the beach we went to collect the ingredients for seaweed chips. We climbed down the cliffs with the dogs in tow to the beach below our house. I noticed right away that the tide was not quite as low as it looked and that there was surprisingly little kelp for chips (maybe it is a little early in the spring for good kelp growth?).
But we did find some 'red' kelp and small 'wrinkled' kelp in the tidepools. I carefully cut them off above the root ball so that they could grow back. We collected mostly red kelp because I seemed to remember that it is tasty (click here and here for posts about the last time we collected seaweed), but we also collected some of the less appealing 'wrinkled' stuff just for experimental purposes.
Back home we heated up the wok and oil, rinsed off the sea weed, and dried it out on a kitchen towel. Then came the big moment - I had Stuey back away because I remember some explosive results in the past - and I added some red kelp to the hot oil. We put the screen over the top and there was some serious hissing and bubbling - Witch's brew type stuff!
And then we looked in the wok and there was nothing there! The red kelp had completely disappeared! So I took the rest of the red kelp and cut it up fine to make a seaweed salad (see recipe linked here). Now I was glad we had collected the 'wrinkled' stuff, and we added some to the hot oil. This stuff bubbled and snapped, but did not disappear. And we ended up with awesome seaweed chips. Better than the ones you buy at the store - even Zoya agreed.
Only we did not have enough kelp to make any more. So to make use of the hot oil we sliced up some of the potatoes from the garden into cold water, dried them out, and put them into the oil. I could not cook them up fast enough. The kids gobbled them up as fast as I could cook them. We lightly salted them, but in the past we have used ranch dressing salad packets to powder the chips.
Anyway, the kids are hooked and on the next low tide we'll be collecting some more of the brown stuff (Sieve Kelp - Agarum clathratum?) from the beach for more chips. I think the red stuff I used for salad is Red Sea Cabbage (Turnerella Mertensiana). I do have the 'Field Guide to Seaweeds of Alaska' by Lindeberg and Lindstrom, but obviously I really do not know my seaweeds!
|The red stuff on the left does NOT make good chips - the brown stuff on the right makes sublime chips|
|looking for seaweed|
|Cool underwater tide pool close up|
|Our 'deep fat fryer' with potato chips in progress|
|Stuey tests out a freshly deep fried seaweed chip - better than the ones you can buy!|