Cooking With Sea Vegetables
I will be focusing on cooking with sea vegetables for the next few weeks. The recipes will be simple and easy to follow, which will take some of the mystery out of the strange looking packets in the natural food store. Sea veggies are packed with minerals and each variety has a marvelous, unique flavor. So jump in, have a go and cook an exotic dish from the sea.
Sea Vegetables are harvested just as we harvest the land. They are collected at the end of the winter and beginning of spring, spread out to dry in the sun and packaged for us to use. There are many different types, each with its own unique flavor. Sea vegetables act as filters in the sea and filter important minerals which are often hard to find in other foods. When we eat sea vegetables they actually filter our blood and help to smoothly discharge toxins, fat and break down tumors as well as providing us with important nutrition. Sea vegetables can be used in soups, stews, saut'ed with vegetables, cooked with beans or made into condiments.
Helpful Hints About Sea Vegetables:
- Nori is prepared in sheet form and it a great addition to soups and light vegetable dishes. It can be lightly toasted and does not need to be soaked or rinsed.
- Kombu can be lightly rinsed and added to grains or beans. Kombu also makes a great stock for soup and can be re-used by letting it dry on a plate out of the refrigerator. When using kombu with vegetables you can lightly soak it first and cut it before cooking. A little kombu goes a long way. Take care not to use too much and in too many dishes in one meal.
- Dulse and Wakame can be rinsed and then cut. Both these sea vegetables can be lightly cooked or saut'ed with vegetables or added raw to pressed or raw salads. They are great in soups too.
- Arame is a huge leaf in the sea. Arame is shredded and lightly steamed before packaging. It can be lightly rinsed and then cooked for about 25 minutes. Arame's delicate flavor is enhanced with oil, vegetables, beans or tofu. Arame salad is also delicious.
- Hiziki and Sea Palm can be rinsed and lightly soaked for five to ten minutes. They are both delicious when prepared in the same way as arame. However, I cook hiziki for at about 45 minutes and discard the soaking water which is usually very strong and salty in taste.