Bull Kelp

Durvillaea antarctica


Bull Kelp is a massive dark-brown to golden olive-green seaweed that grows along exposed rocky coastline. It has one short, thick, cylindrical and unbranched stipe with a large bulbous float up to 15 cm. It has a fleshy stem and its blades are broad and leathery or divided into long thongs.
It can grow up to 36 m tall, with its blades growing as long as 4 m and up to 20 cm wide. It often bobs on the water with its fronds flowing with the waves, like a seal.


Found throughout New Zealand


This seaweed is regularly washed up on beaches, especially after storms or at low tide. Cut fronds from living plants from the rock with a sharp blade. Be careful to leave the anchoring root and some vegetation so that the plant can regrow, as some varies of Bull Kelp are slow-growing.


Bull Kelp is known for its delicious flavour and texture and can be cooked, dried, fried, fermented or eaten fresh. The tender tips of the young blades make ideal eating, either fresh or pickled. The fronds can also be gathered for food and, while the stipes are thick and tough, they can be softened through pickling.
When the blades are wide, it can be cut into to make a bag to stuff food into as a an oven bag. Bull Kelp can ooze like slime when heated so avoid washing or storing in warm water.

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