Recipe Category: Ben Bayly

Recipe

BULL KELP VEGETABLES

Bull kelp grows all over New Zealand’s rocky shoreline; harvesting the kelp is easily done at low tide in calm seas, or after a big storm it will wash up on our beaches. For this dish we use the base of the kelp, near where it attaches to the rocks, where the kelp is around 1cm thick and 20cm wide. The top or thinner parts of the kelp go towards enriching my compost which will, in time, be used to enhance the family vegetable garden.
This dish is inspired by the ‘en papillote’ method of cooking, learned during my time in French kitchens, and by the use of bull kelp by ancient Māori to create bags to preserve food like tītī (muttonbird) for many months. It also makes me think of my times as a kid when we baked potatoes in the fire on the beach. This technique gives a special smoky and umami flavour to vegetables and is also a great way to cook fish.

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