Our oceans and are full of various seaweeds and they are all brimming with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. To begin adding seaweed to your diet, you should familiarize yourself with some of the most common varieties. Nori, a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine, is the highest in protein content and can be served a number of ways, including dried and fried. Dulse, red algae, is commonly eaten in countries with a cold northern coastline, like Canada and Ireland. Kelps include Wakame, Kombu and Arame and are found in Pacific Rim cooking. Sea Lettuce is a green lettuce-like variety that has a strong ocean flavor. You can experiment and try these five ways to eat seaweed:
If you love seafood and already enjoy sushi, then you are no stranger to dried Nori. But if fish and seafood isn’t your thing, you can make custom sushi rolls easily at home. Use a sheet of dried Nori and your creativity to create sushi for any palette. Try a barbecue chicken roll by covering a sheet of seaweed with rice. Then mix together chunks of cooked chicken and barbecue sauce. Spread a line of the chicken mixture on the rice. Add sautéed onions and green peppers. Roll up the seaweed to create a long tube, and cut into pieces.
- Seaweed Salad
Replace your boring old iceberg or overrated kale with seaweed. Chop up different types of seaweed, such as Wakame and Sea Lettuce. From there, your options are limitless. You can stick with a traditional Asian flare with a soy dressing, or go all out and make your favorite chef salad with a seaweed base.
No one said every seaweed dish has to have an Asian influence. When you’re cooking up your favorite pot of soup, add seaweed to give it some added texture. Since seaweed comes from the water, it won’t break down the way other greens might. You can even sprinkle dried seaweed strands on top of a bowl of New England clam chowder.
Don’t forget about breakfast! Add diced Nori or other varieties to your eggs for a distinct flavor. Try an Asian-inspired omelet with sautéed shitaake mushrooms, seaweed, bamboo shoots and shelled soybeans.
- Seaweed Snacks
Seaweed can be fried and baked to create crunchy snacks that are similar to potato chips, but with less calories and lots more fiber. You can make your own seaweed crisps, but thanks to this health food catching on, they are now widely available in most supermarkets.