Did you know that there are over 30 types of seaweed? The following is my guide to the more popular varieties that you’ll use in your homemade sushi recipes and other tasty rice dishes.
Nori – The star of your sushi recipes!
Nori is definately a star in the world of seaweeds and anyone who makes their own sushi.
I love this stuff. Often, for a tasty and healthy snack, I’ll take a roasted sheet of nori straight out of its package and start chomping.
Sometimes, I like to cut it into thin strips and toss it into a bowl of miso soup or plain rice.
And if you haven’t tried cold soba noodles with a topping of nori my recipe for this summer-time delight is worth checking out.
Interesting nori facts:
An orange brown laver that can grow up to 10 inches long and two inches wide
The laver is washed in fresh water and dried in the sun on bamboo frames
Nori is full of vitamins, minerals and vegetable protein. No wonder its good for you!
Don’t buy at a healthfood store. Prices can be triple for the same product found in an Asian grocery store or regular supermarket.
Store unused nori in a sealed bag and place that bag in a container. It’ll last for quite a while. Never put it in the fridge!
When rolling sushi, make sure the rough side is facing you. That’s where the rice goes.
Konbu – Giant Kelp!
I think that, of all the types of seaweed, Konbu posed a challenge to me when I first tried to eat it. It has a very strong flavour.
In my favourite Asian grocery store, dried konbu is sold in enormous packages. It must be over 3 feet long!
When you first open a package of konbu you’ll notice that it is coated with a white powder. Don’t wash this off! Simply clean your konbu with a damp cloth.
Place konbu in warm water to reconstitute it. The soaking water can be used in soup or other recipes. You’ll notice that the konbu is somewhat slippery and sticky.
So what is konbu used for? This giant kelp is mainly used for dashi. This a fish stock used in a variety of dishes including miso soup.
Konbu is sometimes used to flavour sushi rice, although I have never tried it in my sushi recipes.
A yummy snack named tsukudani, consists of thin strips of konbu simmered in shoyu (Japanese soya sauce).
Store dried konbu in an air-tight container and keep it in a cool, dry cupboard.
Wakame – A jewel in my soup
I love fishing for the emerald color pieces of wakame in a bowl of miso soup. This stuff is so darn tasty!
I also love to use it in my favourite cucumber and wakame salad recipe.
This delicate tasting seaweed grows on rocks under the ocean and is loaded with vitamins.
Wakame is dried and cut into shreds before packaging. Here is a picture of some I recently bought.
Wakame cooking tips
Soften dried wakame in plenty of warm water for about 5 to 8 minutes
Drain and pour boiling water over the seaweed
Plunge into a bowl of coldwater. This will turn your wakame a brilliant green color
Store your wakame in an airtight container and place it in a cool, dark cupboard.
These are just a few of the more popular types of seaweed used you’ll be using in your sushi recipes.
Try out my favorite seaweed salad recipe that uses wakame.