Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sea Palm and Tofu in Coconut Milk

Sea palm is a form of kelp that is found only off the coast of Northern California. (It is available from the Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company—I don’t know where else to get it.) I feel fortunate to live in the “home” of sea palm and so I have it readily available. If you are skeptical about eating seaweed in anything other than sushi, then try this recipe. You will likely find yourself pleasantly surprised. Because the recipe includes coconut milk, honey, and apple, it is a little sweet and so it might appeal to children who otherwise would have nothing to do with a seaweed dish. For those who find the texture of the sea palm jarring, I suggest that you cut the strands down into smaller pieces. The flavor (and nutritional value) of the sea palm is sensational. 


½ oz. dried sea palm
¼ c. apple juice
5 oz. firm tofu (cubed)
1 c. coconut milk
¾ c. grated carrot
1 medium apple, cored and grated
¼ c. chopped scallions
2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. tamari sauce (non-wheat for the gluten-free)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Thai basil
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ c. slivered almonds 


Soak the sea palm in the apple juice for 20 minutes to rehydrate it. Grate the carrot and apple. There is no need to peel the apple. Remove the core but leave the skin on.

Combine the scallions, ginger, honey, tamari, chives, basil, and nutmeg and simmer them together for 8 minutes in the coconut milk (moderate heat). Add the sea palm and apple juice and simmer for another 8 minutes (low heat). Then add the grated carrot and apple and the cubed tofu and simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes. Additional apple juice can be added (a little at a time) to keep the dish from becoming too dry.

Sprinkle with slivered almonds before serving. This dish is especially delicious when combined with a wild rice, such as black japonica or red rice.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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