Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Welsh Bara Lawr Laverbread Seitan Sausage (vegan)

Wales is still not popular for its vegetarian cuisine, its often seen as the land of Welsh lamb, cockles and mussels, faggots - a Welsh meatball made from offal and meat off-cuts.  But what many people do not know is St David, the Patron Saint of Wales was a vegetarian.  I speculate, but its possible that St David may actually have even been a vegan as he only ate bread, vegetables, herbs and only drank water.  

The green green lush land of Wales has also given us leeks and laverbread. Laverbread or 'bara lawr' as it is known in these part of the Welsh valleys.  Laverbread is not actually a bread, its a seaweed, that is cooked down to a jet green paste famously described by the acclaimed Welsh actor Richard Burton as 'Welshman's caviar'.  Laverbread is often enjoyed with shellfish, buttered toast or as Laverbread Cakes.   The best laverbread comes from Selwyn's who are based on the beautiful shores of the Gower Peninsula. 

So today for St David's Day celebrations, I present to you an alternative Welsh vegetarian recipe that makes an interesting  change from the traditional Selsig Morgannwg - Glamorgan sausages and Welsh Rarebit - homely cheese on toast.  This recipe is made with both Welsh leeks and laverbread and also happens to be vegan.  Behold the Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage that I have created especially for the 1st March, celebrating the Patron Saint of Wales and all things Welsh. 
For those of you who are neither vegetarian or vegan, may find these vegan Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage a little difficult to process visually, but they make for a good mock meat substitute for those who do not wish to consume meat.  These Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage do not replicate the taste of meat in any way, just mimic it.  

I was inspired to create these vegan Welsh sausage with laverbread for two reasons.  One I had read somewhere in the past that someone somewhere in Wales had created a meat version of laverbread sausage; and two, I had recently had a vegan sausages made with Irish Dulse Seaweed  and that's was me on the path to making a vegan alternative of Welsh Bara Lawr with Seitan.   
We have sliced and pan fried them and enjoyed them with mashed potatoes, two veg and gravy, but you can also cook them whole.  The flavourings in these  Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage is based on my vegan Welsh Faggots (Ffagod) recipe.  I think the recipe still needs a little tweaking, but I am happy to share it with you today.

Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Hapus

Welsh Bara Lawr Laverbread Seitan Sausages
Makes 4 - 5
140g vital wheat gluten
30g nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons chickpea flour 
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon mace
Salt to taste

160ml water
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons tamari
2 - 4 tablespoons averbread (either from a tin or fresh if your lucky to live in Wales)
1 shallot or small onion, shredded or minced
You will also need 4 - 5 pieces of foil.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, in the other bowl combine the wet ingredients.
Then pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine with a spatula.  
Knead again for a couple of minutes.
Divide dough into 4 or 5 equal pieces and roll into sausage shapes. 
Place on foil together and wrap firmly around the dough. 
Twist ends of foil to secure filling. 
Repeat with the remaining pieces.
Place each directly into a steamer and steam  45 minutes.
Allow to cool for an hour before using, or for best results chill overnight. 

Store it in fridge tightly sealed or freeze.
To use, slice or chop and fry before adding to your recipe.


  1. These look fantastic and I feel lucky to actually know how laverbread tastes (thanks to your generosity) - I also love how you share the welsh culture - I have learnt more about it from this blog than anywhere else - happy belated st david's day

    1. Thank you so so much Johanna. I should make more of an effort with Welsh cuisine really, but I am really enjoying fresh laverbread which is even better than the tinned stuff. Few more recipes coming up as I went laverbread heavy, i hope you will not tire of the laverbread recipes coming up this month.

  2. Happy St.David's to you. Always learn when I come here.

    1. Thank you so much e. Your comment really pleases me and I am humbled to know that my blog plays a small part in raising awareness of traditional welsh cuisine, albeit with my fusion - modern twist.

  3. Happy Belated St. David's Day! I appreciate you sharing information on laverbread as I didn't know much about it. Your sausages sound lovely.

    1. Thank you Kimmy. I do my best :) then I go and put my veg twist on it!

  4. Never heard of laverbread in South Africa.... what would be a substitute please? Your sausages look good!

    1. Thanks you. Laverbread is unique to Wales, so you won't find it in South Africa or anywhere else, unless of course it is imported. I don't know what to suggest as a substitute, sorry.


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