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Pingtan: Birthplace of Chinese laver

en.ptnet.cn | Updated:2022-10-14 | Lin Kongbo, Stephanie

Laver is a common seaweed found between tides and on rocky shores. According to estimated statistics, there are more than 130 varieties of laver in the world. Among them, only two are artificially cultivated for mass production.

Nori that we usually have is a type of dark green laver called Porphyra Yezoensis while the dark purple one usually used in soups is called Porphyra Haitanensis. Laver's rich nutritional values and medicinal benefits are good for preventing cardiovascular diseases, treating edema, boosting cognitive memory, and also a superfood for vision and skin nourishment.   

Pingtan, the fifth largest island in China, is the birthplace of the Chinese laver. According to official documentation, “During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Pingtan’s laver served as an imperial tribute.” Starting from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Porphyra Haitanensis began its artificial breeding. 

In the late 1950s, Zeng Xuekui and Zhang Derui, experts specializing in algae from the Qingdao Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, came to Pingtan and named its excellent variety “Tan Laver” after the main island of Pingtan-Haitan.

The superior natural conditions contribute to Pingtan‘s status as a home to laver farming.  

Pingtan also worked with Xiamen University to develop the "Gao Liang No.1," a new variety recognized as a national key new product.

Pingtan has built a complete industrial chain from the breeding, cultivation, and promotion of laver. The output value of the industry reaches 500 million yuan annually. 

Common Chinese Dishes with Laver

Laver and Egg Soup

Put a little cooking oil in the wok, add some dried shrimp and water to boil;

Whisk an egg in a bowl;

Scoop a spoonful of boiling soup and pour it into the bowl; 

When the eggs come in contact with the boiling water, strands of silken egg drops swim in a bowl of comfort;

Egg drops and a few pieces of laver swim in a steamy wok;

Simmer again under low heat and add a dash of pepper before serving.

A bowl of laver and egg soup is the same as a plate of scrambled egg with tomato. This basic dish has conquered the tastebud of the people, spanning six major temperature zones across the country and dodging the debate about food culture differences.

Nori Rice Ball

Lay the rice on the nori;

Then put the ingredients you like on the rice;

Roll it up;

Take it directly on the hand and bite. Quite addictive!

Laver Pancake

Crack open a couple of eggs and stir them, add flour and water, and mix them into a batter; 

Break up some dried laver;

Coat the batter with laver pieces;

Put them into the hot oil and fry them until it's crispy;

Take a bite and savor the lingering flavors melting in your mouth. 

Laver is also a common ingredient for different specialties in various places, such as fried rice, wonton soup, braised oysters, and taro. It can also be a filling to make dumplings and baozi. 

Source:Grain Buds Studio from People’s Daily

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Editor in Charge:Lin Kongbo
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