From sushi rolls to salads, Japanese seaweed is one of the most sought-after ingredients right now. Use this handy guide to discover the different types of Japanese seaweed, including the health benefits of seaweed, then try 10 recipes using seaweed.
• Rich in iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium • Contains 14 times more calcium than milk • High in protein and low in fat • Reduces cholesterol and can help with high blood pressure • Aids in digestion • Boosts energy levels
The most common type of seaweed available here in Australia, nori seaweed is available from the Asian food aisle in supermarkets. These dark green sheets of roasted seaweed are used to wrap sushi rolls, but can also be cut into ribbons or squares and used to garnish soups or salads. Use nori seaweed to make Japanese California rolls and temaki zushi; or add a savoury flavour hit to this teriyaki swordfish salad.
Those delicate little leaves that float in your miso soup are wakame seaweed. This edible brown seaweed is sold dried and can be reconstituted in water. It adds a subtle sweetness and saline quality to this easy soba noodle salad, and this refreshing wakame and cucumber salad.
Growing on the coastlines of Japan, Korea and China, hijiki seaweed is a firm, nutrient-dense seaweed that resembles little black twigs when dried. It cannot be eaten raw, but when it is rehydrated in water, it will swell to three to five times its size. Hijiki has more texture and bite than delicate wakame, adding body to this tofu udon noodle soup and hijiki seaweed salad.
You could be forgiven for thinking that strip of dried kombu is a sheet of metal, so tough is this type of seaweed. Regarded as the ‘king of seaweed’ Kombu is an essential ingredient in Japanese stocks and soups, such as this awase dashi, adding an unmistakable savoury element, known as ‘umami’, as it boils away.
Also known as green laver, aonori seaweed is a delicate, calcium-rich seaweed most commonly sold as dry flakes, which are sprinkled over noodle dishes, takoyaki octopus balls and okonomiyaki pancakes. For more Japanese inspiration, explore Japanese Curries & Stews
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