Yes, I'm taking Seaweed Butter.
During our first visit to Maze we were offered a tour of the premises and the kitchen - which is something they offered to all first-timers. We were taken into the kitchen and met the chef Josh Emmett, who turned out to be a very friendly guy as well as a fantastic cook. It's here that we got to ask about the butter and he very kindly showed us what it was made with. Armed with that information, it was then just a matter of finding the right seaweed product.
In a way I've hesitated in making it since it's just so good I fear becoming a butter addict but eventually I got around to visiting my local Japanese Store and very quickly found what I needed in this jar of Shimanoka Iwa Nori.
Ira Nori is also known as Rock Laver as it grows in rock crevices by the sea.
As you can see it's a thickish, dark paste and has an unusual aroma, at times it smells almost like treacle but then it has an earthiness like Jerusalem artichokes.
To make the actually seaweed butter just involved a tiny bit of experimentation and I think I've actually come up with something that is pretty close to the original.
150 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon Shimanoka Iwa Nori
The seaweed is high in glutamic acid which is responsible for that flavour characteristic called umami. That savouriness can be misinterpreted as saltiness which can lead to some people calling a dish too salty when in fact it is really umami that is being detected. This is reason I've used unsalted butter.
Whip the butter vigorously until light and creamy. Add in the Iwa Nori and continue to beat gently until incorporated.
Portion the butter into butter dishes or store as butter logs following a same method as for this truffle butter.