25 seaweed recipes that prove it’s delicious beyond sushi


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Photo: Getty Images/Aanulya

While seaweed may not be the sexiest superfood (it’s green! it’s slippery! it’s texture is meh), the ultra-nutritious underwater plant has stepped into the spotlight as one of the “it” foods on the market over the past few years years. Yes, it’s often rolled up in rice and served up as sushi roll, but a quick perusing of the World Wide Web shows that its uses go far beyond holding together your California roll. It’s even in breakfast foods now—no. joke.

In case you’re not quite sure why the slimy plant should get a spotlight in your diet, listen up.  Seaweed’s major claim to nutritional fame is that it contains iodine: a critical antioxidant that helps keep your thyroid up to snuff. It also contains about 4 grams of protein per tablespoon and trace amounts of other nutrients. As you’ve likely observed in all your time splashing by the ocean shore, seaweed comes in many iterations, including salty-savory nori to pasta-substituting kelp noodles.

It’s time to deconstruct your sushi into a bowl, or even top your morning oatmeal with nori (trust us on this one).

Photo: Getty Images/Enrique Diaz

Nori

You probably recognize nori as the papery green seaweed that holds your sushi together or the snack taking over shelves at Whole Foods. The member of the red algae family is rich in protein and fiber. Eat it dried as a snack, or use it recipes ranging from risotto to pizza.

Sushi Pizza with Miso Ginger Dressing

You read that right: seaweed… on pizza. This recipe features avocado too, so all your favorite superfoods are on one slice.

Grain-Free Sushi Bowls

The new hot thing is to take any old dish and deconstruct it into a bowl. Sushi is no different. Grab your chopsticks and go at it.

Savory Japanese Oats

I know what you’re thinking: seaweed? On oats? It’s a risk, I’ll give you that. But breakfast doesn’t always have to be sweet. This time, it’s (sea) salty.

Seaweed Risotto

Close your eyes and pretend you’re on the Italian seaside with this decadent risotto.

Nori Salad Wraps

One of the best things about Nori is it acts as a vessel for all your favorite vibrantly-hued veggies. This dish is exhibit A.

Sesame Nori Roasted Cashews

If it’s a snack you seek, look no further.

Bok Choy Nori Bites

Combined with bok choy, nori becomes a green feast that earns a nutritional gold star. This dish will be on the table in minutes.

Green Sushi Salad

You’re going to want to add this recipe to your future meal prep folder. Its crisp, fresh ingredients will satiate you all the way until dinnertime.

Soba Noodles with Cilantro Nori Pesto

This dinner comes in hot with a nautical riff on classic pesto.

Photo: Getty Images/aluxum

Arame

Arame is the most iodine-rich of the edible seaweeds. This means healthy hormone regulation—and according to nutrition experts, your hair, nails, and skin will also thank you.

Sea Vegetable Salad With Sesame Dressing

There’s nothing boring about this salad. It combines all your favorite tastes of the land (like avocado, pumpkin seeds, and onion) with arame for a surf and turf take on mealtime.

Lemony Herbed Millet with Arame

This refreshing dish is a dinner party staple, but the seaweed adds a twist of the unexpected.

Grain-Free Arame and Edamame Salad

If you want to boost your seaweed with more plant-based protein, just invite edamame to that par-tay.

Brown Rice and Arame Seaweed Salad

Alternatively, you can rely on brown rice for a more hearty dish.

Photo: Getty Images/Plateresca

Wakame

The member of the brown algae family has a good amount of iron and is packed other vitamins. It is almost always sold dried, but should be re-hydrated before eating. Squeamish about the thought of eating seaweed? The flavor is neutralized the longer you soak it.

Salmon and Rice Bowl with Edamame Beans and Wakame

To load up on your omega-3s with you seaweed, just add salmon.

Black Rice Ochazuke with Crispy Salmon Skin

Combined with the rich flavor of the black rice, the salmon and wakame take on an extra-robust flavor profile.

Red Cabbage with Sweet Miso Dressing

This gorgeous dish is one for the ‘Gram

Seaweed Sesame Crackers

For a crunchy snack time treat, whip up a large batch of these crackers for a week of happy noshing.

Miso and wakame soup

If you like your sea vegetables hot, hot, hot—a pot of soup is in order.

Photo: Getty Images/tbralnina

Kelp Noodles

Move over veggie zoodles, it’s time to share the spotlight with kelp noodles. The gluten-free, often raw noodles are free of sugar or cholesterol, yet contain a healthy dose of calcium. Use them in place of noodles in stir-fries, salads, soups, or pasta dishes.

Kelp Noodle Pad Thai

The overwhelming deliciousness of pad thai speaks for itself. Go forth and eat it.

Kelp Noodles with Garlic Kale Pesto Sauce

For a slimier take on an Italian evening, skip the pasta and go for kelp noodles instead.

Rainbow Veggie Salad with Kelp Noodles

Salads splashed with all the colors are tasty to the eye and to your tastebuds. This dish’s lime dressing brings all the flavors together, so grab a fork and dig in.

Spring Pea and Onion Noodle Bowls

Again with the bowls: we just can’t get enough of ’em. This one comes with crunchy spring peas to offset the softness of the seaweed.

Kelp Noodle and Broccoli Slaw

Slaw is a staple of summertime barbecues. Add kelp to the mix, and you’ll surprise everyone at the party (like, in a good way).

Pho with Kelp Noodles

Sometimes, a (seemingly) bottomless bowl of soup and movie are just what an evening calls for. Pho kelp noodles fit the bill.

Rainbow Kelp Noodle Salad

For yet another vibrant dish, add this recipe to your rolodex.

Still not sold on seaweed outside of the roll? Here’s the healthiest sushi you can order:



This story was originally published January 15, 2016. Updated on August 14, 2019. 

Speaking of nutritious foods that hail from the sea, here’s why salmon is so GD good for you and how to make it Ashely Benson-style

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