Seawater, 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 flavor 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 is 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.
The Chef is always right
Levels of pollution in the ocean and the quality of water vary immensely, but it is now possible to buy bottled seawater that has been micro-filtered especially for culinary use, retaining its wealth of minerals and trace elements.
Seawater can be called a healthy ingredient; it is a natural seasoning that is a salt substitute and contains more minerals than the sea salt we normally sprinkle on our food.
Private Chef Javier Bermudo, whose curriculum includes experience working with the world’s best chefs – none other than Ferran Adrià and Joan Roca – and at some of Mallorca’s finest restaurants, including Michelin-starred Es Fum in St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, discovered the benefits of using seawater 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 flavors while increasing our intake of healthy minerals.
One of Chef Javier’s tips is to keep mollusks such as clams, cockles, and razor clams in seawater before cooking 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 flavors, and has been kind enough to share this simple recipe for a salad dressing with us:
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon seawater
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 and blend until smooth.
Chef’s tip: this dressing is perfect for salads that contain nuts such as walnuts or almonds. It can be kept in the fridge for several days.