Cooking with Seaweed

Bursting with nutrients and minerals, seaweed should be a part of your diet if it isn’t already. With more than 10,000 known edible varieties in the ocean, it’s good to know which are suitable for the novice palette. We suggest beginners start with light and crispy sea lettuce before experimenting with different tastes and textures in all sorts of dishes. Below you’ll find some of our favorite, easy recipes from Irish Seaweed Kitchen, Food Network, Broad Appetite, To Her Core and our own kitchens. They’ll help you get started on mastering this new ingredient.

1. Seaweed Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Alaria, about a 6-inch piece rinsed, snipped finely and soaked overnight in just enough water to cover, or ½ cup dried and ground.
  • 1 banana chilled or else peeled, chopped and frozen overnight, or 2 chilled pears
  • 1/4 pineapple, including core, chopped
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 6 large green leaves spinach
  • a little local honey or agave to sweeten, if needed

Put everything, including the soaking water, into a blender and blend until smooth. Experiment with different ingredients to see what you like best, and start with a small amount of seaweed to get used to the taste before throwing in more.

2. Cucumber Seaweed Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons jalapeño, minced
  • 1 6-inch square sheet dried seaweed
  • 2 teaspoons roasted white and black sesame seeds

Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds using a spoon and cut into ¼-inch slices on a diagonal.

Stir oil with vinegar, cilantro, sugar and jalapeño in a large bowl. Add seaweed to the bowl after you’ve sliced the sheet into thin, 1-inch strips. Add cucumber and sesame seeds, toss, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

3. Kelp Noodles with Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages kelp noodles
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 lemon

Pesto:

  • 4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Sardo
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Kelp noodles are low-calorie and gluten-free, and can be used in place of any pasta. For this recipe, first rinse the kelp noodles in warm water and place into a large mixing bowl, adding broccoli and any other veggies, along with the juice of half a lemon. Then combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic in a blender and add the cheeses and salt until smooth. You can pour this sauce over the fresh seaweed noodles immediately, and be sure to mix well.

4. Seaweed Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon oriental mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 5-6 sheets of roasted seaweed (I used Yaki Sushi Nori)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl before brushing the sesame oil onto one side of a seaweed sheet. Evenly sprinkle the seasoning mix on the oiled side. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and once it is hot, lightly toast each side for 10-15 seconds. Finally, cut each sheet into 8 rectangular pieces before munching on a flavorful snack that you won’t feel bad about feeding to your kids.

5. Grain-Free Sushi Bowl

Ingredients:

For the bowl

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded cos lettuce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • Small handful shredded nori

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Wasabi to taste (optional)

For the toppings

  • Avocado
  • Shredded nori
  • Pickled ginger
  • Sliced mushroom lightly fried in sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds

Stir the bowl ingredients together, and make the dressing by combining all ingredients into a small jar and mixing well. Then add the dressing to your bowl ingredients before putting your choice of toppings in an Instagram-ready display that shows off your masterpiece.

Try adding seaweed to dishes that you already make, and taste the difference. You’ll be surprised that it doesn’t taste fishy, but rather seaweed can act as an umami-flavored bouillon. So even just throwing it into a pot of soup can add rich flavor that will have your friends and family begging to know what your secret ingredient is.

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