So you’ve been eating all your vegetables lately — broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, you name it, you’ve eaten the lot! Excellent, that really is great work! 😉
Now, here’s something else for you to try out… sea vegetables!
I have to admit, I don’t like to eat the same foods over and over again.
For me, a varied choice of food helps to keep my diet interesting.
Perhaps you hadn’t even considered sea vegetables as a healthy option. It’s true, they are often overlooked (by me too!), but they are definitely something interesting and nutritious that you can add easily to your weekly eating plan.
Types of sea vegetables
Some of the main types of sea vegetables include:
- Sea lettuce
- Irish moss
- Rock weed
The great thing about these vegetables is, they each have their own unique taste. So chances are, if you don’t like one type, you may very well enjoy one of the other options.
Are sea vegetables nutritious?
In short, yes! Just like any other vegetable, they are an excellent source of nutrients — including iodine, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, iron, and tryptophan.
Tips for eating more sea vegetables
Try not to be put off by the look and/or smell… they are different, I’ll admit that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean “bad!” Here are some suggestions:
Dulse — here in Northern Ireland it’s traditional to sell dulse at the “Auld Lammas Fair” each year, which is only a few miles from my childhood home. My grandmother is very fond of it! Personally, it’s not my favorites, but if you haven’t tried it, you really should give it a go.
Dulse is usually eaten sun-dried, or in powdered form. You can eat is as it is, or pan fry it to make chips. You can also add it to soups, salads, or casseroles.
Sea lettuce — sea lettuce is normally eaten in salads, and it has a lovely bright green color.
Nori — nori is possibly the one you’re most familiar with, as it is used to make sushi rolls.
You can make your own vegetable sushi rolls by wrapping leftover rice with your favorite vegetables in sheets of nori. It can also be chopped up and added to salads, for example.
Wakame — try making a raw seaweed salad with soaked wakame and your favorite grated vegetables.
Kelp — kelp can also be added to soups and stews, or pan fried and made into chips.
Hijiki — combine soaked hijiki with shredded vegetables, such as carrots, then add a little grated fresh ginger, olive oil and tamari.
Or, try this seaweed risotto from the gorgeous 101 Cookbooks.
Kim Bap Recipe
My lovely sister-in-law, Taleen, lives in South Korea at present, and she shared this Korean recipe with me:
2 cups of rice
3 sheets of seaweed — I used Nori
Part of a cucumber
6 small crabsticks
2 green onions
A little rice vinegar/sesame oil/sugar
- Cook the rice according to pack instructions. When it’s done, let it cool slightly. You can make a little mixture with some rice vinegar, a pinch of sugar and some sesame oil to mix into the rice, if you like.
- Beat your eggs and cook a small plain omlette in your pan. When done, slice into long strips. Slice your crabsticks (I skipped this bit) into long thin slices, and your carrot, green onions and cucumer too. (Usually in kim bap there is a yellow pickled radish, but since I didn’t have any I soaked the cucumber in rice vinegar for a short time). Cook the carrot and green onions in a pan just a little to soften them up and bring a little flavor out.
- Spread a thin layer of rice onto the seaweed, taking care to leave a small gap at either end of the paper. Arrange your ingredients on top of the rice, ready to be rolled up.
- It’s probably better if you use a bamboo rolling mat for this, but I didn’t have one and it worked out okay – roll quite tightly making sure not to let any of it leak out, or get messy. Seal it with a little water or rice at the end.
- Slice in to about 8-10 portions. Serve.
Have you tried sea vegetables? I’d love to hear from you, please share your tips or favorite recipes in the comments below…