Sea Vegetables: the New Bacon

Does this thing scream "healthful" or what?

If you know anything about me–from this blog, from other social-media sites, or even from real life (whatever that is, anyway)–you know that I love bacon. In fact, I’ve become rather infamous in some circles for my love of bacon, to the point where people think I love bacon more than I actually do. For the record, although I am intrigued by such products as bacon-flavored lip balm, I do also enjoy many things that are neither meat nor meat-flavored. Like dulse.

“But, but, Nick,” I can practically hear you protesting, “dulse is seaweed! I mean, I think it is…I’m not even sure what it is! All I know is that it’s some kind of liberal-commie-pinko-homo-hippie food!”

Yup. It sure is. And it’s also packed with minerals, and vitamins, and vitameatavegamins, and all sorts of good stuff. In other words, dulse is pretty much the anti-bacon. So, for my veg friends who are all baconned out, and anyone else who wants something a little lighter and more nutritious, but every bit as scrumptious, may I present the DLT?

To be fair, I got this idea from the back of the package of my favorite brand of dulse (are you listening, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables? Hint, hint), but it was my idea to make it into a wrap. Dulse is chewy and savory and umami-rich when it’s raw; when it is toasted, however, it turns crisp, salty, indulgent and fleetingly nommable–much like bacon, making it the ideal stand-in as part of the classic BLT when contrasted with sweet tomato, the tang of mayonnaise, and crisp lettuce.

And after all, who doesn't love a wrap?

Don’t get me wrong–you’re never going to bite into a DLT and exclaim, “Damn! That’s the best bacon EVER!” That is to say, dulse will not fool you into thinking it’s bacon, or satisfy you if bacon is what you really want. But it is a fine food in its own right, and the qualities it shares with bacon means that it, too, pairs well with the L and the T.

The DLT (aka the Anti-Bacon Wrap)

1 wheat tortilla
1 generous handful dulse
1 T. mayonnaise
tomato, sliced or chopped
lettuce

Spray a small skillet with olive-oil spray; over medium-high heat, toast the dulse until it turns from a pliable seaweedy color to a rich, dark, crackly brown. If it doesn’t all transform before the rest of it threatens to burn, that’s OK.

Dress the tortilla with mayo (or condiment of your choice), lettuce and tomato. Salt and pepper generously. Add the pile of dulse, roll up, and dig in.

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2 thoughts on “Sea Vegetables: the New Bacon

  1. Whole foods, right?

    I need more about dulse, please. Dulse soup. Dulse in sesame oil. Dulse et decorum est. Sorry.

    Or more about seaweed in general. I crave it, but I never can bring myself to shell out for the little expensive cartons next to the supermarket sushi. Do you have a recipe for that? Japanese seaweed salad?

    And, while we’re at it, I bet you make some mean cold sesame/peanut noodles. Hint. Hint.

    • I’m a seaweed noob myself. I use kombu when I make miso (which I’m quite sure I do wrong, but it tastes good so I ain’t fixin’ it), I have a package of nori in my cupboard on the off chance I ever make sushi, and I eat dulse like chips. Not a huge fan of the salady stuff, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever had it as an amuse-bouche before sushi, and when I am waiting for sushi I don’t want anything except sushi, and maybe a Sapporo.

      Sesame/peanut noodles… I have made really good ones, and I’ve made really crappy, gummy ones. That’s a good culinary quest on which to embark. As soon as I can chop worth a damn again, I’ll get right on that.

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