A Beginner's Guide to
Edible Seaweed

Edible seaweed isn't just a fad or probably a food dare out of Fear Factor. Seaweed has been eaten for centuries because of its nutritional value. There are different kinds of seaweed, just like there are different kinds of green, leafy land vegetables. Get to know some of them:

nori spicy cod roe spaghetti Nori
This is probably the most popular seaweed, thanks to the Japanese. Almost all major cities in the world have their sushi bars. Its sweet and meaty flavor is also easily accepted by most people, not only the Asians.

This is the easiest seaweed to get to know because of its taste and, well, it's in sushi. Add this edible seaweed to:

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  • soups (like miso soup)
  • moistened for salads
  • bread, as in laver bread
  • if you toast it lightly in a skillet or pop it in the oven, you've got your own seaweed snack
  • and ofcourse, wrapped up with rice and your favorite fish and vegetables in sushi, futo maki or California rolls
Nori nutrition: It's got the highest protein compared to the rest of the seaweeds. Nori is rich in calcium, iodine, iron, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, porphyran, copper, zinc and Vitamins A, B, C, E and K.

Celebrating Seaweed Day, Feb 6
Several centuries ago, in 710, nori was considered a prized treasure fit for a king. In this case, emperor. Today, seaweed isn't just for royalty, it is enjoyed by millions all over the world.

This edible seaweed is mostly consumed in countries such as Canada, ireland and other Northern European countries. Dulse falls under red alga and its shape resembles that of a hand, which is how it got the genus name, Palmaria.

What's it taste like? It has a salted flavor and is somewhat mildly spicy. It is slightly chewy when rehydrated. This edible seaweed is excellent in/as:

  • soups
  • salads
  • stir-fried dishes
  • a snack
  • a condiment
Dulse nutrition: It is extremely high in Vitamins B6 and B12. It also contains other Vitamins: C, E and A; natural iodine, calcium, magnesium, protein and dietary fiber.

Hijiki looks like black noodles when it is dried. Before preparing it with your meal, remember to soak just a little for a few minutes. Hijiki, like most dried seaweeds, expands. Hijiki is high in calcium, fiber and algin. What's it good with?
  • casseroles and stews
  • when finely chopped, can be added to burgers
  • salads and salad dressing
  • snack food
  • as tea

Sea Lettuce
Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca and Monostroma spp.) resembles the looks of lettuce. This edible seaweed has a strong seafood taste and odor, slightly pungent. It is quite delicate after drying and crumbles easily into tiny tender pieces.

This edible seaweed is excellent in/as:

  • soups
  • salads
  • a snack

Sea Lettuce nutrition: It provides roughage in our digestive system. It is very high in iron and also contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

There are several types of kelp and what is included here are three different types of kelp. Kelp recipes are becoming popular, not only because of the Japanese or Korean dishes, but because of the increasing interest in raw recipes.

Is a type of dark brown colored kelp which isstringy. This is normally sold dried. Tastes somewhat sweet and nutty.Before using it on your dishes, pre-soak for about three minutes.Excellent with:

  • beans, grains or noodles
  • salads
  • stews and casseroles
  • as a snack
Arame is rich in iron, calcium, potassium and iodine.

Kombu, when roasted, has a taste similar to that of bacon. So, it tastes delicious and is packed with nutrients such as alginate, calcium, carotene, chromium, fucoidan, germanium, iodine, iron, laminarin, magnesium, mannitol, phosphorous, phytohormones, potassium, protein, sodium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, K.

Wakame contains one of the highest sources of calcium. It is dark greenand sometimes brown in color. Excellent in casseroles, soups and stews. Include some wakame with your rice (preferably brown) during cooking.

If you haven't tried seaweed at all, the easiest to try out are those dishes with nori such as sushi or miso soup. If you enjoyed that, you're on your way to enjoying the rest of the edible seaweed.

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Got a question on edible seaweed?

Seaweed is starting to be popular at the dinner table. Want to try seaweed but don't know where to begin? Ask your questions here!

What Other Visitors Have Said

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Brown seaweed from the gulf of Mexico 
Is it edible? If so,how do i prepare it?

Atlantic Patagonia seaweed 
Hi, I live in the southern hemisphere (Atlantic Patagonia), and I'd like to find some info about the seaweeds we can gather here.

Ecklonia Cava Seaweed (Serranol) 
Due to the environment in the Far East, is this item safe after the Earthquake etc. (Radiation)? I'm a bit suspicious with the delay in providing the item, …

What type of seaweed is popoklo? 
It's also called "rat's feet"; saw it in a Pilipino market - also, what's it's nutritional value?

samfer/ samfa/ sampha/ sampher 
How do I cook samfer/ samfa/ sampha/ sampher? Bought it from my local fish market trader. Said it's aka sea asparagus.

Digestion benefits of seaweed  
Photo by kattebelletje I have heard that there are digestive benefits of seaweed such as helping with the breakdown of beans, etc., and gas.

What is spongy seaweed? 
It is an ingredient in a Korean kimchee recipe, but I am not sure what kind to buy.

round cakes of dried seaweed 
What type of seaweed is often sold dried into round cakes? The packaging is mostly in Chinese and the only English says, "dried seaweed." It has a very …

Vacuum pack wet seaweed 
Can one vacuum pack wet seaweed?

River Weed in Laos 
I would like to know the nutrition value of River Weed found in the river of Laos? Please enlighten me. It is served roasted and grind into powder.

What type of seaweed is this? 
I was wondering what type of seaweed this is. I purchased these at a local market in Denver. Thanx, Gauge

Sea lettuce and kelp 
What is the difference between sea lettuce and kelp?

Japanese seaweed from H-Market 
I've been buying Japanese seaweed from H-Market where I can buy exact seaweed seasoning just like what they have in H-market or Japanese Restaurant. This …

Where can i buy ecklonia cava? 
Where can i buy ecklonia cava, not the supplement, the natural form?

Kelp or Nori? 
I am a little confused - is kelp and nori the same thing? Is one a seaweed and one a kelp? I am looking for the product that would be best used for thyroid …

Danger of chemicals and heavy metals in edible seaweed 
I eat a lot of seaweed. As the oceans become more and more polluted what is the danger of chemicals and heavy metals getting into edible seaweed?

Do you know anything about riverweed? 
Have you heard of riverweed? In the rivers and creeks off our farm in Zambales, we would harvest what the locals call Bala Iba or Eve's hair. It is light …

What is the nutritional difference between Dulse and Wakame Seaweed? 
What is the nutritional difference between Dulse and Wakame Seaweed? Dulse photo by Akuppa Wakame photo by FottosVanRobin

Hi I live on the west coast of Vancouver island. There are a couple of species of kelp and or seaweed I cannot identify. could you send some pics of …

Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas buffet has seaweed 
What type of seaweed is used by the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas in their buffet? It was green and seemed to have an appearance of fresh dill weed.

seaweed for lobster cocktail 
I'm interested in an inexpensive, small amount of edible seaweed for a garnish w/ nice color for a lobster cocktail. Which is the best for me?

Nori radiation risk 
Nori is one of my favorite seaweeds but I'm worried about radiation from Japanese products.

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