Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

A Sea Spaghetti Recipe - Cheese Straws with Seaweed

Himanthalia elongata

I’ve wanted to try this recipe for ages, for possibly 2 years this recipe has been sitting in a recipe book and in my mind and somewhere in side of me I’ve been eager to make it. Though perhaps not eager enough, until now.

Sea spaghetti cheese straws just sounded like a wonderful idea, an idea that I wouldn’t of thought of, and that excites me. I’ve cooked sea spaghetti (Himanthalia elongata) as, literally, spaghetti, I’ve done it as tempura (both recipes in my Seaweed Foraging Book) and added it into soups, see my Three Seaweed Soup with an Inner Kick recipe. So this, I had to try.

I’d found this sea spaghetti recipe in Prannie Rhatigan’s book; Irish Seaweed Kitchen. I’ve tweaked it a little, of course, isn’t that what cooks do?! I also love the fact it uses Bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) seaweed too. Ground and sprinkled into the pastry (I’d never of thought of that either), so here it is.

A Sea Spaghetti and Bladder Wrack Seaweed Recipe

Himanthalia elongata

Sea Spaghetti Cheese Straws (with Bladder Wrack Pastry)


  • 10 g dried sea spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 75 g butter
  • 75 g plain rye flour (or other plain flour)
  • 75 g red Leicester or mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp dried, ground bladder wrack
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper, generously ground

Soak the sea spaghetti in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry (it will stain cloth, so choose carefully what you use to do this) and toss in the lemon juice. Leave to marinade for at least ½ an hour. It does look horrible and slimy, but trust me! You can omit the marinading process, and the result will be a chewier centre, which is also delicious, just not melt in your mouth.

himanthalia elongata

To make the pastry, combine the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly mixed and it forms a ball of dough. Cover in clingfilm, or a quick plug for a reusable alternative – Organic Cotton Beeswax  Wrap – made in Cornwall and perfect for sealing (seal with an elastic band or string) over a container with the pastry in. Put in the fridge for at least an hour. Go out for a walk, see a friend, relax with a book....

Himanthalia elongatafucus, himanthalia elongata

Grease a large baking tray (or 2 smaller ones) and roll out the dough to a 15 x 30 cm rectangle. Lay one strand of sea spaghetti along the length and fold the pastry over it, so it just covers it and is encased within it. Cut neatly along the side and cut the whole strip into 7 cm lengths (bite size pieces) and place on the baking tray. Continue until all the pastry is used up. Place in the fridge for 1/2 an hour. Preheat the oven to 190°C and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on them, they can cook quickly! Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lovely party snacks, though we just enjoyed them on the beach with a seaweed and wild garlic dip.

Sea Spaghetti, also known as Thongweed (Himanthalia elongata) is one of the seaweeds I cover on my seaweed foraging courses. which I run throughout the year. If you'd like to go seaweeding on a specific beach that I don't cover, I can offer a bespoke experience, tailored just for you.

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