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Recipe: Seaweed Soup



I used to eat big white bags of Dulse as a child in Donegal, and I loved it. Currently, I’m obsessed with Japanese cooking, the benefits of miso and using seaweed. Miso is a fermented product, made from soy bean or barley, and it’s really good for your tummy (think Yakult times a zillion).

Seaweed is just the business: it is stuffed full of vitamins and minerals, and is good for, amongst other things, making your hair shiny and boosting your sexual appetite. I hadn’t a notion what to do with my purchased seaweed until I made miso soup using the fermented paste. I didn’t follow any recipe, because as far as I can tell, you can throw what you like in it – as long as you don’t boil the miso as it is a living food. This is what I put in my last miso soup:


Some fresh ginger, sliced finely

Half an onion, sliced

Some cabbage, shredded

Some Pak Choy, shredded

1 carrot, sliced

Some mixed seaweed

Piece of Kombu

1 teaspoon miso paste


Cook everything, apart from the miso paste and seaweed salad, up in a pot. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the vegetables are just done. Add the seaweed salad just before the end, and add the teaspoon of miso and stir well.

You can add tofu, spring onion, any greens or cruciferous vegetables – anything you like. You will easily find a traditional Japanese recipe online. It’s a cunning way to eat seaweed; today I bought a bag of Dulse bites and could not bear them, although I’ll keep forcing myself until my palate registers.

Now, what I want to know is, where can one pick one’s own seaweed near Dublin? Anyone? It was €3.90 for a little bag of Dulse in Blazing Salads, and I felt a bit silly paying, because this stuff is abundant here, isn’t it?


  1. I STILL have that bag of Dulse. It’s been a week now. I thought I’d be able to eat it like a packet of crisps, like I used to. But no, my tastes have changed dramatically over the years. I’m still very committed to my own personal seaweed revolution, I just need to find out what else to do with it.

  2. I love Dulse as well – also from Summers spent in Donegal. I’m not sure about harvesting your own seaweed but I have been indulging in gorgeous dried seaweed sheets from the Asia Market on Drury Street. Wasabi , Tom Yum or tempura flavours – they are great eaten like crisps or added to miso or tom yum soup at the last minute. Also lovely shredded on top of cold soba noodle salads .

  3. Oh wow – they sound great! Thanks Cacamilis! I am going to go to the Asia market straight after work to buy them. I really want to be munching on seaweed every day and gain fabulously glossy hair and an inner glow etc.
    Still want to put on wellies and pick it from somewhere though…how hard can it be?

  4. Most of the asia shops sell seaweed I think. Dried varieties mostly. Fallon & Byrne may also stock it but chances are they charge more.

    Once your near a beech you should be able to get plenty of it yourself. My girlfriend made a trip to Ballybunion last weekend and came back with a blacksack half full of the stuff and had a bath with it.

  5. Oooh LOVING that idea too! I shall bathe in it and eat it and everything!
    This may sound like a stupid question, but here goes: is gathering seaweed kind of like mushroom-picking, where some types are just a big no-no?

  6. I need to try this idea, and I need to get seaweed into my diet. Asap!

  7. Yes! It is a seaweed emergency! 🙂

  8. There is a way to harvest seaweed that allows the stuff to regenerate (it should be cut rather than ripped up, leaving a certain amount behind). Removal of seaweed is also covered by the Foreshore Act so check with the local authority that it is allowed on the beach you visit.

  9. This is the kind of informataion I’m looking for – thanks David!

  10. NB Obviously wrecking our beautiful environment NOT on my agenda on the path to salty beauty.