Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nettle and Nori Omelet

This very quick, tasty and nutritious meal is a very good way of introducing seaweed products into a diet.
The flavour is distinctive but not overly strong.
It is very easy, if you can cook an omelet, you can cook this simple but impressive meal.

If you don't have access to or want to use nettles you can substitute spinach or chard leaf.

Nori is probably the most well known Japanese seaweed, famously used to wrap sushi rolls.
Nori is made by a shredding and rack-drying process that resembles Japanese paper making.
It is the same seaweed that we would call Sleabhac in Irish  - of which we have a long tradition of eating.
Laver in Wales is the same thing - one of Wales national dishes.

Nori sheets are easily available in most health stores.

Cooking this meal could not be easier. The Japanese have special square omelet plans but you just trim to size from a normal European pan.

  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • Couple of handfuls of greens 
I normally use a mix of perpetual chard leaf, spinach (beet spinach) and nettles - whatever is at hand really, pak choi leaf would be suitable.

If you are using nettles, blanch them quickly, press in a cloth or strainer to remove excess water and leave aside and keep warm, with spinach just steam or put in boiling water to cook quickly, drain, leave aside and keep warm.
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
One special item that is very useful for this meal is a sushi mat, very cheap and generally available from most health stores and Asian supermarkets.

Beat the eggs with the milk and fry an omelet as normal.
Lay over a sheet of Nori - no special preparation is needed for the nori sheet - it is super simple.

Lay the greens over the sheet and spread - to about the same thickness as your omelet - and trim off excess omelet from around the Nori sheet - this really is a square meal :-)
Then using the rolling / sushi mat or a clean dishcloth roll the omelet.
Slice the roll carefully with a sharp knife and serve as a starter or a side dish.
Served with a Smoked Coley Brioche/Escabeche type recipe I'm working
 I love using flowers in cooking so chive flowers are used here.

Using nettles and seaweed, this simple dish is packed with iron, minerals and vitamins, tastes great, uses unusual ingredients and is just plain fun to make.

Sea coriander I find works brilliantly with this recipe - as an ingredient it really compliments nettles,
I also use it in nettle soup

If you are interested in cooking with seaweed I cannot recommend Dr Prannie Rhattigans book - Irish Seaweed Kitchen - which is available online, a great read - not just a great cook book. 
If you buy 2 shipping is the same as just one, and it makes a wonderful present.

I hope you try it, enjoy it and share it, if you do like the recipe please let others know about it and the blog -
Comments and critique as always welcome and appreciated please take the time to do so.

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