Though Americans have just recently discovered the nutritional benefits of seaweed, other cultures have been enjoying seaweed for hundreds of years. Many coastal communities in Japan and Europe depended on seaweed as a reliable source of food throughout history.
Due to the recent popularity of Japanese food, the chances are that you have encountered nori seaweed. Bon Appétit reports that nori is one of the most commonly eating varieties of seaweed. Nori seaweed is the seaweed “wrapper” that is used to hold the rice and fish together in sushi rolls. Not only is it a delicious way to hold together sushi ingredients, but nori and other seaweed products have been touted as a super food from the sea, with tons of fiber and other nutrients.
Nori seaweed is surprisingly nutritious. It is particularly high in Vitamin A, an essential vitamin that regulates growth and development, boosts immune function, and supports healthy vision. It is also packed with protein and fiber, and is a good source of folate, iron, and calcium.
Other Uses for Nori
Most Americans are most familiar with eating seaweed for sushi. But nori isn’t just sushi seaweed. Bon Appétit suggests toasting nori and adding it to scrambled eggs. It can also be crumbled up and used as a seasoning, or cut up and used as an ingredient in stir-fry. Some innovative chefs are even adding it to surprising foods like ice cream and risotto.
The next time that you are looking for a unique ingredient for a savory dish, or you’d like to try out a new kind of sushi roll, try experimenting with nori. Just remember to buy organic when possible – nori and other seaweeds from the ocean are subject to the ill effects of pollution.
- “Seaweed: The New Superfood”, Bon Appétit
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