Sea cabbage makes great vegan jerky!

Sweet Kombu or sea cabbage (Hedophyllum sessile) grows in clusters like a cabbage bed.  We harvest the blades that have bubbly indentations, as these are high in polysaccharides, which give this sea vegetable its sweet smoky aftertaste.

Sweet Kombu is a brown seaweed. It can be eaten like a chip right out of the bag, as well as  cooked in stews, beans and stir fries. My favorite recipe using sweet kombu is Sweet Kombu Jerky, and I’ve detailed how to make it in this blog.

Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweeds. Fucoidans make up 25–30% of brown seaweed’s dry weight. This is the “slimy” part which most people associate seaweed with. Fucoidan is AMAZING! It stimulates production of immune cells; the same way mother’s milk does the first couple of weeks after giving birth. It also lowers inflammation (swelling) and prevents blood clots. 

Terry harvesting sweet kombu on the Mendocino coast.

I LOVE sweet kombu! Like most brown seaweeds, it is loaded with all 60 essential trace elements, including iodine, 13 vitamins and 20 amino acids. It is one of my favorites to pick and eat on the rocks of the harvest zone. 

This month, try making “Spicy Sweet Kombu Jerky”. It is quite delicious and keeps well for snacking when you have that urge for a chewy, sweet, salty and spicy snack. It hits almost all of your tastebuds! 

SPICY, SWEET SEA JERKY

This recipe is sweet and salty, with a chewy texture of sweet and spicy jerky. You also get all of the essential trace minerals of the sweet kombu in each delicious bite!

This recipe makes between 40 to 60 bite-sized pieces.

Ingredients

  • About 20 pieces sweet kombu torn in half or quartered for bite-sized pieced.

For the sauce, whisk together the following:

  • 2 tablespoons dark miso
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or other sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamari (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A dash to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Rehydrate the sweet kombu in a small bowl of water until just soft (about ¼ cup water total). 
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Place Sweet Kombu into the bowl and cover with sauce, (using your hands is best!)
  4. This may be slimy, but have no worry as the slime keeps the sauce on the seaweed!)  
  5. Take pieces out of sauce and place onto  parchment covered cookie tray or parchment dehydrator tray.
  6. Oven: Cook on (warm/low 200) for about 30 minutes. Check at about 20 minutes to see if the sauce is drying. Turn over at 30 minutes and continue cooking until you notice the dryer texture. You do NOT want it completely dried out for a jerky texture. If it does dry too much, it is still delicious, just more like a chip!

Dehydrator: Dehydrate for about 6-7 hours and then turn on tray and put back into dehydrator.   Dehydrate until just flexible or starting to be crispy- between 2-3 more hours.  

The jerky can be stored in a bag or jar if kept from moisture and light.

This month of February, we have a sweet kombu special!

For any order of $60 or over, I will include a 1-ounce package of Sweet Kombu for you to either eat right out of the bag, cook with or be adventurous and try the jerky!

If you make the recipe or have other ideas how to use this seaweed, let us know in the comments section!

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