Tastes from the OceanSea water, possibly the most abundant natural resource on our planet, is one of the latest trends to emerge from the world of gastronomy. It is no longer only for cooking and enhancing the flavour of seafood such as mussels, clams, lobster, crab and prawns, as has been common practice for centuries in seafaring communities the world over, but it now also being used to lend its briny essence to other more mundane ingredients, from pasta to potatoes, all kinds of vegetables and even chicken. Some chefs use it to season soups, sauces and marinades, adding a subtle taste of the sea to their dishes.
Obviously levels of pollution in the sea and the quality of water vary immensely, but it is now possible to buy bottled sea water which has been micro filtered especially for culinary use, retaining its wealth of minerals and trace elements. Sea water can actually be called a healthy ingredient; it is a natural seasoning which is a substitute for salt, and contains more minerals than the sea salt we normally sprinkle on our food.
Chef Javier Bermudo discovered the benefits of using sea water in the kitchen several years ago, and for him it is an invaluable ingredient in many of his dishes, such as salads, pulses, vegetables, pasta or rice … According to him, this tasty natural seasoning enhances other flavours while increasing our intake of healthy minerals.
One of Chef Javier’s tips is to keep molluscs such as clams, cockles and razor clams in sea water before cooking in order to properly purge any traces of sand and grit. However he does warn us that not all ingredients absorb salt the same way; vegetables, for example, absorb more than pasta or bread dough, so it may have to be diluted with tap or mineral water.
Javier encourages everyone to try using this ingredient as a healthy way to sample delicious, natural flavours, and has been kind enough to share this simple recipe for a salad dressing with us:
Vinaigrette with chives, honey, mustard and sea water
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sea water
1 teaspoon honey
10g finely chopped chives
Half a tablespoon of tap or mineral water
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and blend until smooth.
Chef’s tip: this dressing is perfect for salads which contain nuts such as walnuts or almonds. It can be kept in the fridge for several days.
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