Image: Flickr Creative Commons/Jan
We’re going to bet that seaweed is one superfood you’re not eating enough. Nutrient and mineral dense, edible seaweed most commonly comes in the brown, red, and green varieties. The algae most of us get annoyed with when we’re trying to swim at the beach is a source of vitamins A and C and calcium, and it's loaded with iodine. In fact, in 2014, the British Journal of Nutrition published a study showing women suffering from iodine deficiency could benefit from seaweed supplements.
But just how can you add seaweed into your diet? Here are some creative ways to add the superfood into your daily meals.
Image: RA Sushi Orlando
We’re guessing if you’ve had seaweed before, it was with sushi. It’s the most popular way to eat the superfood such as in these maki rolls from RA Sushi Orlando. Shrimp tempura, krab mix, cream cheese, and cucumber, rolled in seaweed and topped with spicy tuna and spinach tempura bits, drizzled with sriracha and spicy mayo. Yum!
As a Salad
Load up on seaweed in this salad from Gold Mine Natural Food Co. The Ohsawa Sea Vegetable Salad is a medley of seaweeds including wakame, green nori, kobu, agar agar, and red seaweed. The San Diego based company has been offering seaweed products for 30 years and they ship internationally.
As a Salad Dressing
Health food chef Mya Zeronis takes Caesar dressing to an all new level with her seaweed-avocado ceasar recipe. Yes, it’s vegan, dairy-free and raw. As the owner of Zest Wishes/ Lean Chef en Route she tries to make healthy eating sustainable and living accessible and she shared her recipe for Seaweed-Avocado Caesar Dressing with us.
Healthy Vegan Seaweed-Avocado Caesar Dressing
Prep Time: 12 minutes
The recipe replaces anchovies and parmesan cheese that are called for in traditional Caesar dressing, without compromising the full flavors and rich texture of a creamy Caesar.
4 sheets organic sushi nori (raw, not toasted, if available), broken into 1-inch square pieces
2 cups raw organic apple cider vinegar
2 small ripen Hass avocados, pit removed; flesh scooped out, using a spoon
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Juice of 1 lemon (and zest, if organic)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, optional
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a blender, puree all ingredients except oil until smooth. Add oil a little bit at a time and run blender on low speed; texture of dressing should be consistent and velvety.
As Roasted Gim
Image: Mira Sushi & Izakaya
A Korean dish of dried seaweed, this roasted gim dish is a favorite at NYC”s Mira Sushi & Izakaya. Chef Brian Tsao’s food is often inspired by the street foods of Asia. He shared his recipe for Silken Tofu with Roasted Gim and Kimchi with us.
Silken Tofu w Roasted Gim (dried seaweed) & Kimchi
Yield: 5 servings
1 pack Soft Tofu (average weight 19oz)
2cups Parae Gim (can be found at any Korean market)
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
5 Tbsp Kimchi (minced and drained)
1 bunch Scallions
2 ea Red Radish
5 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Water
3 Tbsp Sugar
- Break the Parae Gim into small pieces and place into a pot over high heat. When the gim begins to pop and crack, add sesame oil and season well with salt. Stir until the oil has been absorbed by the Gim. When the Gim is very fragrant add sesame seeds and stir well. After 1 minute remove the gim from the heat onto a paper towel to drain excess oil and allow to cool.
- Separate the white and green sections of the scallions. Julienne the white section of scallion and submerge in ice cold water to remove some alkalinity. Mince the remaining green section of scallion and reserve.
- Thinly slice red radish on a mandolin to give you thin disks and submerge in ice cold water.
- In a bowl mix soy sauce, water and sugar until well incorporated and reserve.
- Cut the tofu into 5 pieces lengthwise, place one piece onto a serving dish. It is best to use a wide shallow bowl or plate with a tall rim because the sauce will be liquid and can easily spill off the dish.
- Top tofu with kimchi, julienned scallions & red radish. Pour 1 Tbsp of the sweet soy over the salad and liberally sprinkle with Parae Gim. Garnish with green minced scallions and enjoy!
If you’re going to eat seaweed you might as well stick to the sea theme. Chef David Santos of NYC’s Louro makes an incredible seafood dish with kelp and we got him to share his recipe.
Seafood Fra Diavolo with Kelp Noodles
1 pound fresh or frozen (thawed) kelp noodles sold by Bren Smith of Thimble
8 peeled shrimp, sliced into pieces
1 cup of picked mussels
1 cup of picked clams
4 ounces jumbo lump crab
4 cups simple tomato sauce
4 Tbsp. olive oil
10 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp. chili flakes
1 cup white wine
1 cup of seafood stock (made from fish bones, shrimp shells or from opening
1 cup fresh basil (torn)
Defrost the kelp if needed.
- Add olive oil to a large sauce pot over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the garlic and sauté gently for 3 minutes. Make sure the garlic doesn’t brown, just sauté it until it is softened.
- Add the chili flakes to the pot with the garlic and oil. Sautee for about two minutes. Deglaze with white wine and raise the heat to medium-high.
- Cook until the wine is reduced by half, then add the stock. Reduce that by half again and add the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you see fit.
- Place the kelp into the fra diavolo sauce. Bring back to a simmer to heat the kelp through. Add the seafood and heat through (about 3 minutes). Be careful to not overcook the seafood.
- Portion into 4 bowls and distribute the basil into each equally. To finish, freshly grate parmesan over the top. Serve and enjoy!