Chocolate Covered Fried Dulse (Red Seaweed)

Seaweed & chocolate? Are you kind of grossed out? Are you highly uninterested? 

I had the same reaction when I first heard of doing this. The only time I ever enjoy seaweed is when it is already in my sushi rolls. So, when I was tasked to put seaweed into a cake, I had hardcore "baker's block." Forget writer's block. I was stumped. 

Food Network definitely challenged us bakers in Episode 7 of Halloween Wars - Season 12 to include elements of the sea in our Sea Monster themed cake displays. Clearly, I chose dulse. (pronounced "duhlse")

I had never seen it, smelled it, or even heard of it. But, after some research, I realized that I was beginning to get excited.

Recently, lot of people have been frying Dulse and adding a touch of liquid smoke to create a vegan "bacon." Yeah, I know. You might be skeptical. I was. Does it taste like bacon? Not exactly, but it has a very bacon-like chew and crunch. It is really fun, when fried.

Eating Dulse straight from the bag is not my idea of a yummy snack. But, after I fried it in a bit of oil and coated it in chocolate - I couldn't stop eating it. My teammates loved it, too. And, the entire production staff from the show were obsessed with it. I remember one of the producers coming up to me just after we finished competing and asking if the production staff could eat what what leftover. 

It was a crowd favorite. 


What is Dulse?

Dulse is a type of seaweed and algae that grows in the ocean. It is found in the northern parts of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. From my research, it also looks like dulse can be found in a few places near Europe, as well. However, it is said that the "best dulse" comes from off the coast of Canada's Atlantic Ocean.

Dulse is also known as a red sea lettuce, red seaweed, red algae, dilsk, and sea lettuce flakes. 

You can buy it in large pieces or in small flakes. I used large pieces of dried Dulse. You can purchase it from some health food stores, but I found mine on Amazon. However, it is not the cheapest thing to get your hands on.

Straight out of the bag, it is extremely salty and a bit briny. It does not have a fishy taste, but it tastes a bit like the ocean. It has a bit of a natural smoky flavor, and it packs a powerful umami punch. 

When Dulse is fried, something magical happens. The overwhelming saltiness dissipates into the hot oil, and the Dulse is left with a nice amount of saltiness, a fabulous crunch, a tiny bit of chew, and a really unique flavor. On it's on, it would make a nice savory snack. 

To maintain a crunch in the middle of my cake, I chose to brush each piece with tempered chocolate to seal in the texture. I did not want the Dulse to become rubbery or soft again. 

The chocolate worked perfectly as a moisture barrier! So thankful for that. It helped to also lessen the salty punch and balance it a bit more. It's a delicious snack, when covered in chocolate. Like Aarti Sequeria said, "That chocolate covered dulse is SO addictive." It truly is.


 Chocolate Covered Fried Dulse (Red Seaweed)

              Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 10 mins

                   Recipe by: Hannah Catherine - Rosemary Whisk


 Canola or Vegetable Oil


 Chocolate,  either tempered chocolate or a coating chocolate


1. In a deep sauce pan or pot over medium heat, add canola or vegetable oil - about 3/4 - 1 inch deep. 

2. When oil has been heated to just before shimmering, add pieces of Dulse and fry for about 20-30 seconds on each side, or until crispy. Do not crowd the pan with too much Dulse - cook your desired amount in smaller batches. 

3. Remove the fried Dulse from the oil and place on paper towels to drain excess grease.

4. Let the Dulse cool completely, and brush each piece with tempered chocolate or a coating chocolate. The pieces may crumble.

5. Let the chocolate set and then enjoy! You can crumble the fried dulse even more or leave it in the larger pieces. 

Enjoy it as a snack or between the layers of cake - like this Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Caramel and Seaweed from Episode 7 of Halloween Wars. 


- Store your chocolate covered fried dulse in an airtight container at room temperature. If stored in the fridge, it is more likely to become soft and chewy again, which is not our goal. Eat within 1-2 days, for best results.

- For measurement reference, I fried about 0.5 ounces of Dulse and used 6-8 ounces of canola oil. For the chocolate coating, I melted roughly 4-6 ounces of chocolate. I have used hand-tempered chocolate, chocolate coating (like chocolate flavored almond bark), and chocolate chips. Chocolate chips will not harden well unless coconut oil is added when melted and then, once coated, chilled for a bit in the refrigerator. 

- This fried snack is great on its own, crumbled over yogurt or ice cream, as a salty/sweet add in for trail mix, or between the layers of a cake. Check out this cake recipe that was featured on Food Network for inspiration. 

Made the recipe?

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