Friday, December 29, 2017

Irish Seaweed

The holidays aren't over yet!

And your treat for this week is . . . seaweed!

No, I’ve never tried eating it, that I can remember. But when I was most recently in Field’s supermarket in Skibbereen, I found that they’d added a new display rack, and it was devoted to seaweed. Not just one kind, but a whole slew of them, neatly packaged. 

I had no idea what I was looking at, but I figured I should give at least one of them a try. Since I had no clue what they tasted like or how to cook them, I picked the one that I thought had the prettiest name: Dillisk.

Then of course I googled the stuff to make sure I wasn’t going to poison anyone. It turns out that dillisk is also called dulse, which rang a faint bell. Wikipedia says “it is a well-known snack food" (sold at seaside stalls by periwinkle sellers). Uh, not at my house. But it’s been harvested and eaten for at least 1,400 years. 

And it’s good for you! It has plenty of minerals and vitamins. You can pick it by hand along the shore when the tide is out and eat it straight from the rocks, or dry it and eat it that way, or grind it into flakes or powder. Pan-fry it, bake it, microwave it, and add it to soups, chowders, sandwiches, salads or breads.

Enough information? Okay, I’m going to make . . . Irish Dulse Soda Scones.

Dulse Scones


1/2 ounce dried dulse
1 pound plain white flour (3 cups)
1 tsp bread soda (I just happened to 
   bring some back from Ireland)
1 tsp salt
12 fluid ounces buttermilk
1 egg, beaten


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Grease a baking sheet.

Soak the dulse in water for a few minutes. Drain it and then slice into fine strips.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the dulse and mix.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk and mix (your hand works well for this!).

After a bit the dough will come together (add the rest of the buttermilk if needed).

Turn out the dough on a floured surface and form a round, about 1” thick (this will be about 8 to 9 inches across). Brush the top with the beaten egg, then cut into roughly triangular scones (you should have about a dozen). Or if you must, cut out rounds.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Serve warm with butter.

What do they taste like? That’s hard to define. There’s a bit of saltiness, and something vegetal going on, but the don’t really taste like anything else. But their flavor is not too strong. You will note there’s no sugar in this recipe, but adding jam would be fine.

Oh, right--Many a Twist comes out next month. This one was fun to write, because everyone in the story has secrets, plus there's a body (and he had secrets too, before he died). And a lot of questions will be answered!

Find it for preorder at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


  1. Sheila, you said you've never eaten seaweed before, but you've had sushi, right? That's what it's wrapped in! Mr. Right went through a seaweed chips phase, but it was short, thank goodness!

    1. (Hitting self upside the head) I had completely forgotten about sushi. Heck, even our supermarket carries sushi wrappers. But does nori taste like anything, or is it only good for holding together the sushi ingredients?

      I love shopping in out of the way stores--I'm still puzzling over what to do with the package of chicken feet from the Russian market not far from here. Maybe on my next trip to Ireland I can hold a seaweed tasting with multiple varieties.

  2. A very different recipe! I'm curious enough to give dulse a try & I love scones so that's the perfect way to do it. I've eaten nori in a recipe for a soup that's comforting & healing when you have a cold. It was alright. I've never been brave enough to eat sushi!

  3. 1-What is bread soda?
    2-Would you make them again?

    1. Is that cute picture with the kitty a potholder?

  4. Ok probably not going to make this one, but it does look pretty. I think if I was going to make it though I would crumble the seaweed in the dried form cause I am just that lazy, lol. Cant wait to read this book! Thanks for the info