Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

 

 

 

By Rob Corliss
June 23, 2021

 

Look to seaweed as a high impact ingredient for a whole host of condiments, dips and spreads. Here, we offer five categories with trend-forward ideas on how to maximize different varieties of seaweed for unexpected, extraordinary flavor. Each is designed to savor the possibilities, kick up the flavor and delight guests.

1 COMPOUND BUTTER

Use as a final flavoring or baste on grilled fish, meat or vegetables. Rub under or over the skin of meats for extra juiciness. Toss with sautéed vegetables or legumes for inspired flavoring.

Bacon of the Sea Butter: Dried dulse flakes + whipped unsalted butter + white miso paste

Kelp-Artichoke Chimi Butter: Kelp-artichoke chimichurri + whipped unsalted butter

TRY THIS:

Chimichurri Pork Steak: Grilled pork blade steak basted with kelp-artichoke chimichurri butter

2 PESTO

Dress up your menu with the universal applications of pesto. Utilize seaweed to create irresistible blends with character, nutrients and housemade craftsmanship.

Sea Kimchi Pesto: Chopped pickled sea kimchi + classic basil pesto

Puttanesca Pesto: Kombu + capers + tomatoes + garlic + olive oil + minced kalamata olives + red pepper flakes

TRY THIS:

Pork Puttanesca Sliders: Hot, succulent carnitas tossed in puttanesca pesto; served on miniature buns

3 GUACAMOLE

Seaweed serves to amplify guacamole and its cool, bright, healthful, feel-good nature.

Summer Guac: Chopped green sea lettuce + avocado + minced fresh peaches + lime juice

Power Guacamame: Powdered kelp + avocado + edamame + lime juice + minced garlic

TRY THIS:

BBQ Pork Rib Taco: Boneless barbecue pork rib topped with power guacamame and queso fresco crumbles; on white corn tortillas

4 SALSA

Salsa yields a refreshing and highly visual contrast to most any dish. Bright pops of seaweed increase this dynamic.

Sesame Salsa Verde: Fine-chopped wakame seaweed + pickled ginger + salsa verde

Black Bean-Hijiki Salsa: Hijiki + black beans + chopped mango + minced red onion + cilantro

TRY THIS:

OMG! Pork: Brown sugar-cayenne smoked pork tenderloin paired with black bean-hijiki salsa

5 MAYO

Mayonnaise is the utilitarian foundation from which to build flavorsome spreads and dips. Use seaweed in its chopped form where texture is key or powdered form for velvety richness.

Kelp Aïoli: Powdered kelp + mayonnaise + roasted garlic purée + candied lemon zest + fresh dill

Ocean Rémoulade: Chopped arame seaweed + mayonnaise + lemon juice (from grilled lemons) + minced garlic/onion + capers + grain mustard + Cajun seasoning + hot sauce

TRY THIS:

Nawlins Dirty Fries: French fries topped with tempura crawfish tails; drizzled with Andouille gravy and ocean rémoulade

This Smoked Pork Belly Breakfast Bibimbap gets a briny counterpoint to the rich, smoky flavors with a Korean-style seaweed salad.Photo credit: Smithfield Culinary

This Smoked Pork Belly Breakfast Bibimbap gets a briny counterpoint to the rich, smoky flavors with a Korean-style seaweed salad.

GET THE RECIPE FOR SMOKED PORK BELLY BREAKFAST BIBIMBAP

 

About The Author

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Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and, currently, owning a consulting company, ATE (All Things Epicurean), focused on flavor, menu and restaurant innovation. Based in Nixa, Mo., he has an energizing passion for food and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. [email protected]