Add al­gae to your diet and sea the dif­fer­ence

Emily Price

The National - News - Arts & Life - - Front Page -

In the third of a four-part series, looks at the ben­e­fits of sea­weed. Avail­able in abun­dance, it is a rich source of iron, cal­cium and es­sen­tial amino acids. Eat it like a salad, add to wa­ter while cook­ing or just use as gar­nish­ing for your favourite dishes go, toast sheets of kombu or nori and crum­ble into pieces, ready to sprin­kle over dishes just be­fore serv­ing.

As well as be­ing used to pre­pare home­made sushi rolls, crispy baked nori makes a healthy and de­li­cious al­ter­na­tive to crisps. Kombu, mean­while, is known for its ten­deris­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and when added to the cook­ing wa­ter, is par­tic­u­larly ef­fi­cient at mak­ing green beans more di­gestible. It can also be sim­mered un­til soft, cut into strips and served as an al­ter­na­tive to noo­dles, added to broths or stirred through rice.

If you want to try pre­par­ing your first sea­weed- based dish from scratch, a wakame salad is a great en­try op­tion. Soak 35 grams of wakame in warm wa­ter for five min­utes, un­til ten­der. Drain well, leave to dry and slice into strips.

Whisk to­gether two ta­ble­spoons of rice vine­gar, two ta­ble­spoons of low-sodium soy sauce, one tablespoon of sesame oil, two tea­spoons of caster sugar and 20g of finely chopped pick­led ginger from a jar.

In a bowl, mix the wakame with half of a thinly sliced cu­cum­ber and three thinly sliced breakfast radishes. Pour the dress­ing over the veg­eta­bles, stir well and gar­nish with toasted sesame seeds. Sea­weed is, as you might ex­pect, very salty.

With that in mind, re­sist the urge to add salt to the wa­ter when cook­ing or re­hy­drat­ing dried sea­weed.

Sim­i­larly, when sea­weed forms the main com­po­nent of a dish, taste be­fore ad­ding ad­di­tional sea­son­ing. If you’re serv­ing sea­weed with soy sauce ( as in the salad recipe ), choose a low- sodium op­tion.

Next week: pome­gran­ate

Narin­nate Mekka­jorn / Alamy Stock Photo

Sea­weed has the abil­ity to ac­cen­tu­ate and draw out the flavour of other in­gre­di­ents.

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