Seaweed is a well-known and popular ingredient for Japanese sushi, but what does a seaweed salad look like? And the consistency is not viscous? Discover with us an often underestimated portion of food.
Not just for sushi: seaweed
Seaweeds are algae that grow mainly on the sea coast and can reach a size of 50 meters. The appearance is very diverse – from bulky sheets of algae to herbaceous algae. Algae also span a wide spectrum in terms of color and include red, green, and brown algae. We must distinguish between blue algae such as spirulina, which strictly belong to bacteria. Edible seaweed can be made into many delicious dishes: by far the most well-known use is in making your own sushi. Rice, fish and vegetables are rolled in a sheet of toasted seaweed (nori). Japanese wakame seaweed salad is also often found on the menu in Asian restaurants and can be easily made with dried seaweed. To do this, pour hot water over the leaves, let them swell for ten minutes and mix the drained seaweed with the vinaigrette. The consistency is similar to cucumber, the taste is spicy and salty.
Is algae healthy?
If you want to prepare seaweed more often and enjoy seaweed snacks such as chips and miso soup in addition to sushi and salad, the question of health benefits or dangers arises. In terms of nutritional values, algae are impressive: raw, they are rich in vitamin A, folic acid and iodide and contain vitamins B1, B2, iron, manganese, copper and magnesium. However, the iodine content in particular can also cause problems, especially in dry products. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends consuming no more than 200 micrograms of iodine per day. Some types of algae can exceed this value even in small amounts. It is preferable to give preference to products with precise iodine specifications and not to consume algae too often and in small quantities.
Where can you buy seaweed?
You can buy seaweed in Asian and organic stores mostly dried or frozen, rarely fresh. There are also many products in which algae are processed, such as crispy snacks, breads, ready meals, pasta, oils, powdered soups and seasoning pastes. Pay attention to the origin, because depending on the collection area, the delicacy from the sea may be contaminated with pollutants. Organic-grade products generally offer the highest level of safety, and dietary supplements, such as kelp powder, the lowest.