Add algae to your diet and sea the difference
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
Seaweed has the ability to accentuate and draw out the flavour of other ingredients.