Dulse Seaweed tastes just like bacon?
Interesting. I wasn’t sold on the idea, but hearing the recent buzz about this new “superfood”, my curiosity was piqued enough to give it a try.
I did some digging around on Google, read some blogs and other articles, and discovered quite a lot about this dulse seaweed, which I will share with you all in the following article.
First of all, this seaweed isn’t really new. Dulse (rhymes with “pulse”) seaweed has been eaten in some cultures for centuries. However, the particular strain of the plant that is causing all the attention, as a bacon-like tasting healthy food, is relatively new. For the past 20 years, researchers at Oregon State University have been working on a strain of the plant (which they now have patented) that grows rapidly and, yes – supposedly tastes like bacon when cooked!
This new strain is not only special because it tastes like bacon. It turns out, that all dulse tastes similar to bacon if cooked just the right way. What is so special about this strain is how exceptionally healthy it is for you.
The dulse recently developed, which, when dry, appears similar to red lettuce, is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Also, and get this – it contains up to 16 percent protein in dry weight!
According to the article I read:
“The original goal was to create a super-food for abalone, because high-quality abalone is treasured, especially in Asia,” Langdon pointed out. “We were able to grow dulse-fed abalone at rates that exceeded those previously reported in the literature. There always has been an interest in growing dulse for human consumption, but we originally focused on using dulse as a food for abalone.”
So, okay, I thought, the researchers sort of stumbled onto a superfood by accident. That happens. I still was not convinced, as a hard-core bacon lover, that some seaweed would be able to deliver the same yummy, smoky, salty, greasy culinary enjoyment as good old pork bacon.
I started shopping around locally and, even though I live in a rather cosmopolitan city, I soon discovered that:
Dulse Seaweed is not all that easy to find.
Then I remembered our very own online store, as an affiliate with Amazon.com, and there I located several different packaged options of dulse seaweed. So I bought two packs, one plain, and one smoked. Both dry.
When the packages arrived, I opened one and wrinkled my nose – the stuff smells quite funky!
Even “skunky” is a pretty good definition of what my nose reported to my brain. This stuff has a long way to go to compare to bacon, I thought.
Nevertheless, I pressed on, undaunted by the unsavory smell of the dry, raw product.
I read up on cooking methods, and learned the “best” way to prepare dulse seaweed, to get the desired bacon taste, is to fry it. Slather up both sides of the dried leaves with some olive oil, and pan-fry them. Do not use extra-virgin olive oil, as it has too strong of an olive flavor, which will interfere with the bacon-like flavor, I was informed.
I did that, using two different pans – one for the plain and one for the smoked dulse. In just a “Snap, Crackle and Pop” later – like really fast – the stuff was done. Lo and behold, it did have a remarkably similar smell to bacon!
Well, at least the smoked dulse did – not so much the plain dulse. The color had changed from the reddish-brown to a dark, brownish green. I allowed it to cool down some, then popped a few leaves in my mouth for the acid test.
And? (Drum roll, please?)
Nah, it didn’t taste exactly like bacon.
Close, sure, but if you are looking for a true bacon substitute, something that actually fulfills all the cravings a true bacon lover has, this product will disappoint.
I tried it out on my wife, and the other two adults that live with us, and they all agreed. Pleasant, good taste – some said “delicious!” – nice texture and smell, but no way an exact match for bacon.
Feeling somewhat let down, I then considered how best to use it. Hey – I spent about $30 on the two packages, and its supposed to be such great healthy food, so … how best to make use of it?
They taste fine eaten like a potato chip, as a snack. That works. My wife suggested it would taste good crumbled up in salads, and also as an ingredient in a sandwich. We tried a few things, and she was right.
Dulse Seaweed tastes even better when used as an ingredient, than when eaten by itself.
I made a DLT (Dulse, Lettuce and Tomato) sandwich, and it was fabulous. A tossed salad with dulse is also a tasty use of it, we discovered.
I can imagine using it in omelets, baked dishes like lasagna, souffles, etc. Heck – might even be good tossed in with other healthy stuff in an energy smoothie!
I do recommend you only buy the smoked variety, though, if you are desiring the bacon-like qualities. The plain dulse just didn’t cut it for me.
Convinced and/or curious enough to give dulse seaweed a try? You can get some right here, at our online store. Just click here.
So that’s it for this post. Please leave a comment before you leave. Have you tried dulse seaweed? If so, what was your experience with it? Did you find it satisfying as a bacon substitute?
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