Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Welsh Woman's Vegan Laverbread Caviar

Dydd Dewi Sant hapus! (Happy St Davids's Day!) Lovely readers.  

Laverbread is known in Wales as 'Welshman's Caviar'.  I first heard about an actual 'Welsh Laverbread Caviar' product from my nephew who came up to see me when I lived in Scotland (see here), and it had since got me thinking of making my own.  

The eureka moment came to me a when I made my balsamic beetroot pearls  and then it dawned on me  to try this with tapioca, basil seeds and even chia seeds.  These worked well as a substitute, the beady seeds swelled and became voluminous and gelatinous, however they lacked in flavour.  I had to find ways to inject flavours into these bobbly beads.  Natural colours were easy to impart, but flavours were a little harder to accomplish, but I eventually got there with: brine, tomato juice, carrot juice, smoked liquid and so forth.  
Even though I've been making vegan Caviar for a few years now, I have failed to blog about them.  Not all my experiments in the kitchen make it onto the blog due to poor evening lighting.  And although this vegan caviar is still not quite perfect (I need to drain the liquid a little more for a start), I think its good enough to share the concept/idea with my readers.  

Originally I had thought to call my vegetarian version 'Mermaids Pearls', but 'Welsh Gentlewoman's Vegan Caviar' sounds more cachet.  

Of course, if your into molecular gastronomy, something I would like to explore in the future then you can of course make vegan caviar at home, but you will need to invest in the equipment.  This is worth doing if its something for the long term, then I'd recommend that you check out this awesome demonstration on youtube to see how the vegan caviar is actually created. Also, I'd like to share with you another link to Olives for Dinner.  This is genuinely a fantastic vegan caviar recipe. You will now find lots of rip offs of this recipe  with a number of bloggers claiming it as their own creation including a laverbread version, but I think Olives for Dinner may be one of the originals, if not the original.  However, if like me you are making  vegan laverbread on an occasional basis like me, then my version is a cheaper and easy alternative. 
So how does it taste?!  I have never in my life had real caviar, but the finished result of my Welsh Woman's Vegan Laverbread Caviar is very convincing and how I would have imagined it to be. I am sharing this with Kimmy at Healthy Vegan Fridays and Honest Mummy for Tasty Tuesdays. 
Welsh Woman's Vegan Laverbread Caviar
1 teaspoon sprirulina powder
Optional: 1 tablespoons Welsh laverbread 
250ml water
50g basil seeds, chia seed, tapioca seeds
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
In a small bowl, whisk the spirulina powder and water.
Then stir in the seeds and allow to swell for up to an hour.

Drain the liquid and transfer to a jar.
Then drizzle over the liquid smoke over.
Seal the jar.
Use within a week.


  1. I've never had caviar either and find the idea of the little pearls quite odd - esp as I am not a tapioca fan - but your caviar looks really intriguing and beautiful.

  2. Love this Shaheen! One of the most original recipes I've ever seen, looks so good and I bet it's really tasty.

  3. Oh Shaheen, you are a marvel. This is so clever. I think I like the name Mermaid's Pearls best. I have to say I have no inclination to eat caviar of any variety, but if I did, I'd give your recipe a go for sure.

  4. So clever! Fab idea, I wouldn't know where to start with this sort of thing, but it looks incredible, and bet it tastes really good too.


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