Not only do we allow our ingredients to be dictated by the time of year, we also ensure optimum quality is always present by sourcing within localised areas. This season we champion Islander Rathlin Kelp and our chefs have incorporated this ingredient into the Autumn menu at The Cloth Ear.
This is a new range of kelp products produced on Rathlin Island where the kelp is home grown, harvested, processed and exported to specialist food retailers, distributors and restaurants around the world. Only in the perfect conditions of the cool clear waters off Rathlin will you get a premium sea vegetable of this quality. The island is situated off the north east coast of Ireland, and is the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland.
Kelp boasts culinary value and can be used in salad dressings, puddings, cakes and dairy products. It is also a natural source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, as well as minerals including zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium. In fact, it contains the highest natural concentration of calcium of any food - 10 times more than milk.
The question you may be asking is how to include kelp in your diet and what is the best way to enjoy this sea vegetable. We have done the hard work for you and have created a simple and satisfying recipe to enjoy with friends and family. Alternatively you can order this dish from our new Vegan Menu in The Cloth Ear.
Tempura Fried Kelp
· 160 g kelp
· 50 g plain flour
· 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
· 5 ml sparkling water
· Rapeseed oil for frying
1. If your seaweed is in wide strips, slice them into thin ribbons. Clean the seaweed with running water and drain it well. Set aside.
2. Stir together the flour, a pinch of salt and the sesame seeds in a medium bowl.
3. Gradually pour in the sparkling water, whisking constantly. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large, deep pot over a medium flame, to about 150 degrees celsius. In the meantime, add the seaweed to the batter and stir to combine.
4. Carefully drop the seaweed into the hot oil by 1/2 tablespoonfuls.
5. Fry until lightly golden, turning over once during cooking, and then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels while you fry the rest of the seaweed. (If the clumps of seaweed sink and stick to the bottom of the pot, don't worry - after a minute or two you should be able to use the spoon to gently ease them from the bottom of the pot.)
6. Sprinkle the fried seaweed with salt and serve with chips or salad while still warm.
To make a booking at The Cloth Ear please contact us on 028 9026 2719