Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream

“With each mouthful there is a definite taste of Shetland sea air, it is like tasting the wonderful cleanliness of the Shetland coastline as it reaches the lungs. Amazing!!” Jane, taste-tester 

Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream

I have to admit it, yes, this is one of my more unusual creations. I feel the need to say I am not in any way affiliated with the Shetland Seaweed Sprinkle producers either, other than that we live on the same island and my partner delivers their post every sixth week!

Shetland seaweed is sustainably harvested by Bod Ayre (you may have seen them recently on BBC Country File!) and it is one of my favourite local ingredients to work with. I like to come up with new and interesting ways to incorporate it into my cooking. I’ve used it in home made pasta, fairy cakes, spiced winter meatballs, pesto, croutons  for soup and even as a special ingredient in my grand Shetland pepperkakehus I made for Christmas last year.

I think I’m getting a bit of a reputation for using seaweed in my cooking, as when I was recently asked to host a food blogging challenge which combines a specific ingredient with any ingredient of my choice they asked me, “Um, you’re not going to pick seaweed, are you? Can you run your choice by me first please?!” Hee!

Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe took two goes to develop. The first time I made it using a condensed milk base and the cooked milk overpowered the subtle flavour of the green tea, so I thought I’d best not be so lazy and just make a traditional custard base. I also discovered, during trial #1, that the seaweed needs to be soaked prior to incorporating it into ice cream or else you get little rock hard bits of seaweed that get stuck in your teeth. No fun at all! Soaking the seaweed in the warm custard mixture solves this problem and you end up with bits of seaweed with a texture similar to that of lemon zest.

This recipe has a very subtle green tea flavour and would be a refreshing ice cream to serve after a Japanese themed dinner. Matcha is a new ingredient for me. I’ve only recently learned that it is a type of green tea when I was looking to buy some green tea to make into ice cream! It’s an expensive ingredient and I had to order it online as I couldn’t find any local stockists, but I’m looking forward to experimenting some more with it. I’ve read online that matcha ice cream is quite popular in the far east, sold right along side traditional flavours at ice cream vendors.

Ice cream is very much a summer food and several food blogging challenges have been highlighting it recently.

I have shared this recipe with Kavey Eats’ Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream challenge for June and July this year as it is all about herbs. Both green tea and seaweed can be considered herbs, one of the land and one of the sea, so I think it fulfils the challenge ingredient!

Cooking with Herbs

Lavender and Lovage hosts a monthly food blogging challenge which encourages us to cook and share our recipes involving herbs in her long standing but recently renamed Cooking with Herbs challenge (previously Herbs on Saturday). I’ve sent this recipe over to her as well.

Now, when it came time to serve this ice cream up to the family I thought I might have to jazz it up a bit for the children. I didn’t need to, really, as they absolutely love ice cream in any flavour, but nonetheless, I still had some chocolate bark in the freezer left over from the OHs Black Forest birthday cake a few weeks ago. A little bit of chocolate bark is always a good thing, no?

Oh my! The addition of dark chocolate took this ice cream to a whole new level. Green tea and chocolate pairs very, very well, the whole family agreed. It might be worth sticking 100 grams or so of chopped dark chocolate in the recipe itself as it is churning, or you could always sprinkle it on later as we have. You decide. :)

This month’s We Should Cocoa food blogging challenge hosted by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog (and alternately hosted by Chocolate Teapot) has challenged us to make ice cream using chocolate. I know I haven’t quite made ice cream with chocolate here, but I’ve served it with chocolate and next time I make it I will certainly be adding some coarsely chopped chocolate, so I’ve sent this recipe over to her blogging challenge.

I’m also sharing it with the lovely Javelin Warrior and his Made with Love, Monday’s from scratch recipe round up. Four different blogging challenges with one recipe? I don’t think I’m doing too poorly here! :)

Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream
Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream
Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream
Print Recipe
Matcha green tea powder and Shetland seaweed are combined to make this unusual, refreshing, ice cream.
Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream
Print Recipe
Matcha green tea powder and Shetland seaweed are combined to make this unusual, refreshing, ice cream.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
6servings 30minutes 10minutes 6hours
Servings Prep Time
6servings 30minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10minutes 6hours
Servings: servings
Servings: servings
  1. Heat milk in a medium sized saucepan until it reaches boiling point.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and caster sugar together in a medium sized bowl until light and creamy.
  3. Remove hot milk from heat and pour over the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
  4. Return milk to the pan and stir constantly until the mixture forms a film on the back of a wooden spoon. A finger dragged across the back of the spoon will leave a trail.
  5. Add the green tea powder and seaweed to the warm milk mixture, stirring until well incorporated.
  6. Cool in the refrigerator for several hours.
  7. Stir double cream and lemon juice into the green tea milk mixture and churn in an ice cream maker.
  8. Transfer to a freezer proof container to harden for a few more hours in the freezer. Allow to soften slightly before serving.
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  1. says

    Oh yes Elizabeth, this is wonderful and I so want to try some. I think you are absolutely right in not using the condensed milk method for this one. I love matcha and can happily confirm it goes very well with chocolate, both dark and white. We harvest are own seaweed, but I’d never have thought to either use it in ice-cream or pair it with matcha – you are a marvel. Thanks for entering this into We Should Cocoa – love it. Looking forward to next month’s challenge – she says somewhat nervously!

  2. says

    Oh I love green and quirky so I love this. And I am glad the kids love of ice cream triumphed over an suspicion of seaweed – did they know it had seaweed in it or were they just deliriously happy to have a bowl of ice cream with chocolate over it?

  3. says

    How tasty, Elizabeth! Such a unique pairing of ingredients, but I love the look of the final result. And I’d definitely be the one adding chunks of chocolate to the ice cream! Love your creativity…

    • says

      I wanted to make something nice to impress the MIL before she left for Norway yesterday, so I had no excuse not to try the matcha ice cream! I ordered it from ebay, from a company with really good ratings. Tea Lido they’re called.


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