Kelp forests lit by Southern California's summer sunlight.
Food - Drink
What Are Kelp Pickles?
Kelp Pickles?
Scientifically known as nereocystis luetkeana, bullwhip kelp is a type of brown macroalgae that has grown popular as a pickled kelp. It has a fresh and crunchy texture with a savory umami flavor, and best of all, it's loaded with vitamins, requires little to no resources to grow, and has minute environmental effects.
How Are They Made?
Before becoming pickles, bullwhip kelp begins as long, tubular, and hollow kelp that grows in the ocean along the coast of Alaska and Northern California. When responsibly harvested, kelp is one of the most sustainable foods on the planet, and after harvesting, the kelp is cleaned, sliced into rings, and jarred with brine.
Kelp is an underrated superfood that contains levels of vitamins and minerals that are otherwise only found in supplement form. Along with fiber, omega-3s, amino acids, and vitamins, kelp also contains trace materials that aren’t found in other foods like iodine, which supports thyroid, brain, and gut health.
Eating Kelp Pickles
Kelp pickles have the same tangy and tart crunch of traditional pickles, but they’re unique for their ocean-like umami flavor. Like pickles, kelp pickles can be eaten fresh, served atop a burger, sandwich, or salad, paired with sushi and poke bowls, or blended into salsa, hot sauce, salad dressing, or soup.
Making Kelp Pickles
If you live in Alaska or Northern California, you might get your hands on some fresh bullwhip kelp at a fish market, farmer's market, or even washed up on the beach. If you do find fresh bullwhip kelp, making pickles is as easy as cleaning, slicing, and jarring your kelp with canning salt, sugar, vinegar, and boiling water.
Buying Kelp Pickles
Kelp pickles aren’t as common as other pickled foods, but you can buy them relatively easily with the help of the internet. Brands like Barnacle Foods and Alaska Simple Pleasures offer kelp pickles, while Foraged & Found offers kelp-based foods like salsa and pesto, which you can buy on Amazon.