From Sushi to Smoothies: How Seaweed is Shaking Up Our Plates

Seaweed is shaking up. You’ve probably seen it hugging your sushi, but would you think of spreading it on your toast? Nope, seaweed doesn’t usually make the cut for breakfast ideas. But hold up, things are changing! It’s a big hit in Asia, where most of the world’s 35 million metric tons of seaweed is sold every year. Now, Western chefs are hopping on the seaweed train, trying it out in soups and even smoothies.

The Green Gold Mine

Why’s it getting so popular, you ask? Well, apart from tasting pretty good, seaweed’s got some serious eco-friendly points. According to the Seaweed Manifesto, it could help suck up carbon dioxide that’s heating up our planet. And get this—it doesn’t need land or a ton of water like regular farming. That means it might be a more sustainable way to grow our food.

Health Booster

And guess what? Seaweed’s not just delicious; it’s also a superfood! Packed with protein, vitamins, and essential minerals like iron and calcium, this underwater veggie brings a lot to the table health-wise.

Shaking Up Breakfast: Seaweed Jam

Let’s talk breakfast. Ever heard of seaweed jam? Yeah, it’s a thing! Take “wakame,” a type of seaweed, simmer it with soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and rice wine vinegar, and voila! You get this sticky, yummy jam. Spread it on toast, pair it with seafood like scallops, or mix it with butter for a tasty twist in your cooking.

Seaweed in Korean Cuisine

Korean chef Jun Lee, from the two-Michelin star restaurant SoignĂ© in Seoul, loves using seaweed in his dishes. He says it brings flavors and textures that land veggies can’t match. For Korean cuisine, seaweed’s like a must-have herb from the sea that adds a unique touch to vegetarian dishes.

Savory Seaweed Soups

Seaweed soup is big in Korea, especially miyeok-guk. It’s made with seaweed, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and usually some kind of protein. Interestingly, it’s often eaten on birthdays, a tradition that started to help new moms get back on their feet after giving birth.

But seaweed soup’s not just an Asian thing. In Ireland, chef Prannie Rhatigan uses alaria seaweed along with pumpkin for a cozy autumn soup. She loves it after her morning sea swim, calling herself addicted to its taste.

Seaweed in Smoothies? Yes, Please!

Rhatigan’s got another trick up her sleeve: seaweed in smoothies! Yup, you can blend seaweed into your smoothie for a vitamin-packed boost. It’s a mix of sea spaghetti, egg wrack, bladderwrack, ginger, pineapple, and spinach. She’s a smoothie fan for life, praising its mix of land and sea flavors.

Seaweed in Dairy? Say Cheese!

Ever heard of seaweed cheese and butter? No joke! The Seaweed Food Company in the UK teamed up with Guernsey Dairy to mix dulse and sea lettuce, types of seaweed, into cheese. Apparently, it makes the cheese taste even cheesier after maturing for three months. They’ve done the same with butter, perfect for spreading or cooking.

The Seaweed Revolution

The Seaweed Food Company’s founder, Naomi Tustin, says seaweed’s a flavor booster. She’s excited about a new recipe using sea spaghetti in onion bhajis, thinking these creative dishes will change people’s minds about seaweed being slimy and smelly.

So, from sushi to soups, smoothies, and even dairy, seaweed’s becoming a big deal. With its eco-friendly benefits and health perks, it might just be the next big thing to shake up our plates!