Dulse: 5 Superfood Recipes You're Going Love!
Dulse is in fact a type of seaweed (often called "sea vegetables") and is found in the frigid waters off the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean. These rich sea vegetables taste salty and are excellent as side dishes, snacks or used as a seasoning. Dulse flakes are derived from palmaria palmate or dulse plants, and are also known as dillisk, dilsk, red dulse or sea lettuce.
Where Does Dulse Come From? Dulse grows wild in the tidal areas of Canada, China, Japan, Iceland, Ireland and portions of Scandinavia. Some of the best dulse is handpicked along Canada’s North Atlantic shores at about mid-tide, both in sheltered areas and along open shorelines. This type of seaweed is generally easy to spot as the flat, somewhat leathery leaf blades of the dulse plant sports a variety of shades from red to deep purple and will be found attached to boulders and rocks along the areas.
Harvesting Dulse: Each plant consists of one thick base blade. As the dulse matures, the blade splits off near the top portion into segments that can grow up to 50 cm in length and anywhere from 8 to 30 cm wide. The plant is harvested by hand from June to October. After it is thoroughly cleaned and sun-dried it is crushed into flakes or powder.
A Word of Caution: Because seaweed is picked wild, it’s imperative that dulse is not collected near cities where pollution may be present from waste-water drains or factories that may be leaking anything from fertilizer to radiation. Dulse blades easily absorb pollutants from seawater. If the waters are contaminated, any seaweeds growing in the area will also be contaminated. Before purchasing dulse flakes, consumers are encouraged to gather information regarding where the product has been gathered.
How Long Is Dulse Good For? When fresh, dulse should be consumed within two to three days. Some people claim that properly stored dulse flakes, like most seaweed, will retain medicinal and nutritious properties indefinitely. To challenge that claim, store your dulse flakes in air-tight (preferable dark) containers, and place the containers in a cool dry pantry away from direct sunlight.
Nutrients in Dulse: Sea vegetables such as dulse are an excellent course of vitamins and nutrients. The following vitamins and nutrients are among the many found in seaweed such as dulse plants:
- beta carotene
- dietary fiber
- vitamins A, B6, B12, C and E
How To Use Dulse
While dulse has probably been used since ancient times by societies living along the Atlantic coast, the collection and use of dulse was first documented in North American in the early 1600’s. At that time Native Americans along the eastern Canadian coast presented red seaweed to the European sailors as a cure for scurvy. Of late, dulse farms are the norm in Ireland where the demand for dulse or "dillisk" as it's called there, as a snack has risen.
Dulse has great culinary and medicinal properties and is often found in various medicinal tinctures as well as in the form of capsules, powers and flakes in health food stores. Dulse is excellent in soups, chowders and salads as a flavor enhancer and is delicious when sprinkled over all forms of potatoes. Here are just a few ideas for using dulse in your kitchen:
Dulse Pinenut Wilted Basil and Spinach Salad
"Overall, I would say this salad reminds me of the best part of a really good mixed leaf salad, crossed with the good old Caesar. It got a resounding seal of approval from both my ‘why are we eating fishfood?’ husband, and my sushi cynical mother. Yum!" Recipe HERE!
Dulse Baked Potato
A simple, no fuss way to use your dulse flakes! Dulse adds flavor complexity, and a pleasant saltiness to liven up you plain old baked potatoes. Recipe HERE!
Sous Vide Dulse Salmon
"Sear cut nectarines flesh side down in a pan on high heat until caramelized. Slice the cold dulse salmon in a 1/2 inch thick pieces and reserve as topping along with the caramelized nectarines. Make mixed salad with above ingredients to your liking and season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper." Recipe HERE!
Creamy Lemon Dulse Cashew Spread
"The sea flavor is enhanced when it has time to sit with the lemon sauce, so if you don’t mind that flavor, go ahead and prep it all ahead of time. I like just a hint of sea flavor, so I usually make mine fresh every time." Recipe HERE!
Sesame Salad with Kohlrabi, Prawn and Dulsi
"Besides the lovely, subtle fusion of Asian and sea flavours, this salad has three awesome things going for it – dulse seaweed, prawns and kohlrabi – all of which are super nutritious (see What’s good about it), making it a total winner in my recipe book." Recipe HERE!