Neptune's necklace - Seaweed (Hormosira banksii)


Never Alone In The Bush
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Jun 16, 2011
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Melbourne, Victoria
Neptune's necklace is a classic, edible "seaweed":

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Neptune's necklace is a form of algae, like kelp. There are many other algae forms of "seaweeds" too.

Neptune's necklace will deteriorate quite quickly once picked, it should be eaten or processed on the same day. Refrigeration will assist in keeping it a bit longer.

It can be eaten raw when its fresh. Inside each bead is salty water, I think they are best if you cut each bead to release the water, then rinse with fresh water.

The flavour is very mild, although salty. It is mostly a textural element - it resists a bite (like a rubber band) then has a firm texture - when you eat it it ends up like a "minced rubber band"in your mouth ... ??? A bit odd sounding I know.
If you like Japanese miso you will understand what I'm getting at. If not just think: salty rubber band (only a bit better than that).

So having eaten a bit raw to test it out I think the rest is best processed to make it a bit more enjoyable:

Method 1 - Fyring.
- Fry in a pan with a little oil, then sprinkle with some paprika. These make a great bar snack - salty and spicy hot
- If you try and fry without puncturing or cutting the beads they will "explode": sealed container with water heated = pop - not a disaster, but a bit messy

Method 2 - Drying.
- You can dry the beads, or sections of necklace (in a dehydrator) for later use. You don't need to puncture them if you dry them.
- Once dry, they are crisp and quite nice to eat just as they are
- You can add dried beads to soups (eg miso) or add other flavours to them and eat them as snacks
- They can be stored once dried

Method 3 - Drying and grinding
- I haven't tried this, but some people grind the dried pieces and sprinkle them on dishes or add then to a recipe

Method 3 - Boiling
- When you boil algae it will quickly change to a bright green colour. Boiling does not soften or change the texture particularly
- Supposedly you can extract an agar type thickener, but I haven't been able to (with kelp)
- I probably should experiment more with boiling some time