Marine algae are known as the vegetables of the sea. They stand out for their nutritional properties, their intense flavor, and their gastronomic versatility. Learn how to prepare them at home.
Marine algae are highly regarded for their contribution of minerals and vitamins. Although there are some 25,000 species of algae in the depths of seas and rivers, only about 160 are traded for food use. Its popularity was growing due to its multiple benefits, its intense flavor, and its versatility in the kitchen. They can be found in supermarkets, herbal and dietetic stores, both fresh, dehydrated, canned or powdered. Let's see what this is all about.
Treasures of the sea
They are known as sea vegetables because they have great beneficial properties and are far from pollution: They provide little fat, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium or iodine, fiber, antioxidants, and high-quality proteins, which make them an excellent alternative in vegetarian diets.
The favorites in Asian cuisine
For centuries, marine algae have been a very important ingredient in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine and in some European areas such as Norway, Iceland, Ireland, and the French Atlantic coast.
Types of marine algae
The popular seaweed that sushi and onigiri are rolled in has a cartilaginous texture and a mild flavor compared to other species. It can be used fresh in strips or the powder for salads, broths or soups, creams, rice, and stews.
Many call it sea lettuce, it has a sweet taste and a very particular texture. It is widely used in Japanese cuisine to prepare miso soup and tofu salad. It is eaten raw, boiled, or baked. Cutting the leaves into small pieces is recommended because they expand when cooked.
With a slightly smoky flavor and thickening capacity, it is sold dry or as pressed leaves. Among its uses, it can be eaten boiled as a side or as an ingredient in sauces, stews, soups, or rice. This alga can be added to the cooking of legumes to shorten their boiling time and provide minerals. It is one of the components of seitan.
It's distinguished by its color and its slight taste. It can be eaten fresh, dehydrated in flakes, fried, baked, or microwaved. Add to soups, stews, bread, pizzas, salads, or sandwiches or baked covered with cheese.
Its intense sea flavor makes it ideal for preparing stews, legumes, stews, and curries. It should first be soaked for half an hour and then cooked for at least 20 minutes. It can be kept in the freezer to add in stews and soups.
This dietary supplement comes as a powder and can be easily added to juices, smoothies, creams, and soups. A common key to algae is that you don't need large amounts to make a meal: its flavor and nutrients are highly concentrated. In fact, to reduce the intensity on the palate, it is advisable to crush it dehydrated and use it to season.