Dry roasting enhances and releases the flavor of many ingredients, most notably sesame seeds and laver (sheets of dried seaweed), which are used in many dishes. Ideally, ingredients requiring dry roasting should be prepared just prior to use. This is not as great a chore as you might imagine, since it is a quick and simple procedure.
For seeds and nut meats, you will need a heavy, ungreased, thoroughly dry skillet. Place what you are dry roasting in the skillet over medium-high heat. Shake the skillet gently in a circular pattern to keep the food in motion. This will ensure even roasting and coloration and prevent unwanted scorching. Most foods are dry roasted in less than a minute and should be removed from the skillet while still hot.
To dry roast sheets of laver, hold the corner of a single sheet with your finger tips. Or, if your hands are as sensitive to heat as mine are, hold the sheet with tongs. Wave the laver back and forth slowly over direct, medium-low heat. It should take about a minute for the laver to crispen and turn a slightly greener hue.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.