Seaweed Is Healthy and Packed with Umami — Here’s How to Cook with It
Join us for a deep dive into the subject of seaweed, and find four fantastic recipes and a basic guide to various types and seasonings.
Tide Pool Cocktail
Isle of Harris is a premium gin from Scotland that tastes of juniper and citrus with an undercurrent of seaside flavour thanks to sugar kelp. Here, it’s mixed with dry vermouth and a pinch of salt for a stingingly cold maritime martini.
Seaweed: A Guide
From Arame to Wakame: Seaweed's many forms are surging back onto trendy ingredient lists, adding depth of flavour and bringing a whiff of the sea to the table.
Nori is a fast-growing algae farmed in waters all over Japan. It’s shredded, pressed and dried into paper-thin sheets used mostly for sushi. Cut into thin strips, kizami nori is sprinkled over noodles and rice, and in Korea, nori is roasted with sesame oil and salt for a popular snack.
Native to the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific, this reddish-purple seaweed is prized for its bacon-like flavour. Typically dried, it’s eaten out of hand as a snack in Nova Scotia and baked into soda bread in Ireland. Try mixing dulse flakes into butter for grilled seafood.
Kombu is a type of kelp sold in dried rectangles that look like wrinkled green paper. It is primarily used to flavour dashi, the basic stock of Japanese cuisine. In 1908, a scientist discovered umami when he figured out that kombu is rich in glutamic acid, the compound responsible for the savoury fifth taste.
Often used in soups and salads, wakame fronds have a sweet flavour and a tender, slippery texture similar to wilted spinach. The ubiquitous seaweed salad served at sushi restaurants is made from wakame stems and branches, though its verdant fluorescence comes from food dye.
Sea Plus Seasonings
Granulated kelp and dulse are used as a salt substitute and flavour enhancer — try shaking them on popcorn.
Furikake is a dry Japanese condiment used on soups, rice and poke.
Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that gets a boost of umami from seaweed.