Ourlady's School Belmullet

OLSS Foraging for Seaweed & Developing Recipes

October 2017 Blog


Foraging for Seaweed the following information is taken from


How to forage for seaweed

It’s tasty, nutritious and filling. And it’s free. So what should you look for and how do you cook it?

Like many foraged foods, seaweed emerged from the wilderness to capture the imagination of Britain’s celebrity chefs. It has long been prized in Japan, where it is as commonplace as egg and chips. The Japanese have got it right: seaweed is a delicious, versatile and extraordinarily healthy food. It will also fill you up; a breakfast that includes seaweed will keep all but the most habitual snacker off the biscuits until lunchtime.

Edible species such as dulse, kelp, carragheen, laver and gutweed are easy to identify. But, first, be sure to ask whoever owns the beach – it could be the local council or an individual.

Conservation is easily addressed. Take a little here and there, and remove just a part of each specimen, carefully, with scissors. Be particularly restrained with laver, as it is possible to strip a beach of this seaweed in two hours.

Seaweed should be thoroughly washed at least three times by swirling it in a bowl of water, then lifting it out. In general, boiling it for half an hour and expecting anything remotely palatable won’t work – different seaweeds require vastly different approaches.

Kelp is simply added to soups as a flavour enhancer and removed at the end of cooking (or dried and powdered for use as a condiment). Surprisingly, its talents have nothing to do with salt – seaweeds are almost devoid of it – it is glutamates again.

Carragheen needs to be stewed for 30 minutes and squeezed through muslin to extract the spectacularly slippery carragheenan. I use it to set pannacottas and fish mousses.


OLSS Students foraging for Seaweed on the Local Shores of Erris




Developing Recipes


Seven Recipes selected, tried & tested

  1. Sea-lettuce Smoothie
  2. Kelp and Cherry Scones
  3. Kelp and Dilisk Burgers
  4. Chickpea, Mushroom & Dilisk Burgers
  5. Dilisk & Stout Soda Bread
  6. Carrageen & Vanilla Milk Pudding
  7. Dilisk, Leak and Cheddar Tart
  2. smoothiePrepared by Patrick G Gaughan & Jade McDowallIngredients3 Bananas (ripe)

    2 tablespoons of Sea Grass

    350ml Orange Juice

    350ml Apple Juice


    • Process the bananas and Sea Grass in a Food Processor until Smooth.
    • Add both the Orange & Apple Juice.
    • Serve with fresh fruit.



Prepared by Jamie Doherty & Rebecca McManamon


1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 Onions, chopped

150g mushrooms, coarsely chopped


35g Parmesan cheese, grated

60g Cheddar cheese, grated

150g can chick peas, drained

Handful of dilisk, finely chopped

100g fresh breadcrumbs

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon wasabi

1 egg, beaten

8 soft burger buns, some salad leaves, tomatoes and onion to serve.


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry the chopped onions and mushrooms seasoned with a bit of salt.
  • When softened, cool slightly and place in a food processor with the rest of the burger ingredients.
  • Pulse for one minute, until the mixture comes together. Be careful not to over mix.
  • With wet hands form the mixture into 8 burgers and leave for an hour in the fridge to become firm.
  • When ready to eat, brush each burger with some oil and place in a baking tray.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 190 C for approx. 15 minutes.
  • Serve in Burger Buns garnished with leaves and salad.

Prepared by Alex Worth & Luke McWilliams

soda bread


500g whole-wheat flour

3 tablespoons of milled dilisk

1 teaspoon salt

1 level teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon malt syrup

500ml stout (Guiness)

5 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 lb loaf tin, greased


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, mix together flour, dilisk, salt and baking soda.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the beer, syrup and vinegar. Stir well and bring together to form a porridge consistency.
  3. Scrap the dough into the loaf tin.
  4. Bake in the oven for approx. 35 minutes, until the knife comes out clean from the bread.
  5. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
  1. Kelp and Dilisk Burgers

Prepared by Millie Healy & Maisie McMaster

dilisk burger


  • Mince meat
  • Fresh herbs
  • Garlic
  • Ground Dilisk
  • Ground kelp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tomato sauce



  • Chop the garlic and fresh herbs into tiny pieces.
  • Add them to the bowl of mincemeat along with the ground seaweeds.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste as well as some tomato sauce.
  • Press the burgers using a burger press to shape them into even circles.
  • Lightly coat the pan in oil and cook the burgers on high heat for about 2-3 minutes and let them cook through on a medium heat.
  • Toast the burger buns and prepare the fillings for your burger such as lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Assemble your burger.


5.Kelp and Sour Cherry Scones

Prepared by Patrick A Gaughan & Dawn Worth

cherry scones


  • 250g of self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon milled kelp (kombu)
  • pinch of salt
  • 45g sugar
  • 20g butter
  • 100g of dried Morello cherries
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • handful flaked almonds


  • Preheat oven to 190° Measure out flour. Grate nutmeg, kelp and salt.
  • Add the sugar and then rub in the butter.
  • Add the cherries and finally the buttermilk, kneading very lightly, just until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  • Place on a floured board and cut out circles or squares – the dough should be quite thick: scones don’t rise that much.
  • Sprinkle liberally with sugar and press in some flaked almonds.
  • Bake on a greased tray in the oven for 15minutes, or until cooked and golden
  1. Carrageen Moss and Vanilla Milk Pudding

Prepared by Steven Carey and Evelyn McNulty

vanilla pudding


  • Carrageen Moss
  • Milk
  • Vanilla Pods
  • Egg
  • Sugar
  • Strawberry’s



  • Soak the carrageen moss for about 10 minutes in a bowl of tepid water.
  • Strain off the water and put the carrageen moss into a saucepan with the milk and the vanilla pod seeds.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
  • While the seaweed is simmering, separate the egg.
  • Put the egg yolk into a bowl, add the sugar and whisk for a few seconds
  • Through a strainer, pour in the milk and carrageen moss mixture on to the egg yolk and sugar mixture, rub all this jelly through the strainer and into the bowl.
  • Whisk the egg white until fluffy and gently fold it into the egg yolk, sugar, milk and carrageen moss mixture in the bowl.
  • Put into fridge and wait till set.
  • We served it with strawberries on top.
  1. Dilisk, Leak & Cheddar Tart

Prepared by Ellen Dixon & Lauren Dixon

cheddar tart

dilisk 1



  • 160g plain flour
  • 60g butter
  • Water


  • 2 medium-sized leeks
  • 50g butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • Handful of chopped dilisk
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml cream
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 100g grated cheese


  1. Roll out pastry and fit to dish
  2. Prick base with fork and pre-bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.
  3. Wash the leeks and sauté in the butter for approx. 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Add ¼ cup of water and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the chopped dilisk.
  6. Allow to cool slightly.
  7. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the cream, mustard and grated cheese.
  8. Finally, fold in the cooled leeks and dilisk.
  9. Pour this custard part into the part-cooked pastry shell and bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the pie is just firm.

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