Fleur Sullivan's Seaweed Relish

There are about 1000 species of seaweed living around the coast of New Zealand. Many are edible and have the added benefit of being very good for you – they are rich sources of iodine, many vitamins and even protein. Use moderate amounts of seaweed together with other ingredients so that untrained palates can become used to the delights of seaweed. When harvesting seaweed, take the younger, outer portions of the blade or frond. Rinse the seaweed in fresh water if desired and then dry (hanging from a clothes line is a good method – as long as the weather is dry too). Dried seaweed can be stored in airtight ziplock plastic bags for extended periods and used either in seaweed-based recipes or as seasoning in soups and stir-frys – or ground and used as flour in breads and biscuits.


This recipe uses ‘Neptune’s necklace’ seaweed which is common around New Zealand. If you don’t know it or can’t find it then you could try health food or specialist Asian food stores for any of a range of edible dried seaweeds that can be rehydrated for this relish.

2 cups of ‘Neptune’s necklace’ or other edible seaweed
Half a tomato
Half a sweet red onion
1 cucumber (optional)
1 clove garlic, grated

¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh root ginger, grated
pinch of cayenne pepper


Wilt the ‘Neptune’s necklace’ or other edible seaweed very briefly in steam over boiling water. Rinse immediately under cold water. Cut into 2-3 inch sections. Cut the tomato, onion and cucumber into small pieces or strips. Add the ‘Neptune’s necklace’ or other edible seaweed and combine with the marinade. Chill, let stand for 2 hours before serving.