If you've never had seaweed but you want to try it, we're going to help you get an idea of what to expect. We're describing taste, texture and culinary tips so you'll know exactly how to prepare and enjoy it.
Let's get to it...
What Does Seaweed Taste Like?
The biggest flavor in seaweed is the saltiness. It's an intense taste, briny and definitely in the umami family of flavors.
Different types of seaweed have subtle differences in flavor. Nori, the kind of seaweed you'll find in your avocado rolls, is mostly briny while dulse is smoky. For this reason, dulse is often used like a spice in soups, sautes and salads.
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If you're concerned that seaweed is slimy, don't be—it's not. Thin sheets of dried nori seaweed are crisp, crackly and slightly chewy, becoming silky and much chewier when moistened.
Some dried seaweeds sold in sheets are much too thick and tough to eat as they are, so they require soaking for at least thirty minutes, usually in hot water. After soaking, they'll tend to take on a chewy texture the way nori does.
Is Seaweed Supposed to Taste Fishy?
Seaweed, especially dried and powdered seaweed like dulse, is often called for in vegan and vegetarian recipes imitating fishy flavors. Vegan tuna salad is a good example.
Though seaweed is incorporated into "fishy" dishes, it is not supposed to taste like fish per se. Rather, its flavor is ocean-like: minerally and heavily salty.
Can Vegans Eat Seaweed?
Yes, vegans can eat seaweed! There's no fish or animal product in it. All seaweed is is an algae that grows in the ocean. You can think of it as a sea plant rather than a dry land plant growing standard veggies like tomatoes and bell peppers.
In fact, seaweed is an excellent source of iodine, B12, calcium and magnesium, so vegans would be wise to add some seaweed into their diets. Once you try it, this won't be a problem. It's really delicious.
Can You Eat Seaweed Every Day?
Now that you know all about seaweed, you can pick up a package the next time you see it at the supermarket and make the following mouthwatering recipes with it.
If you have a sushi mat, you can make vegan california rolls with crispy tofu in no time at all. You'll need nori sheets, sushi rice, avocado and sesame seeds.