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Seaweed is also known as sea vegetables. It is a food that is more typical of Asian cultures where it has been consumed for centuries for its properties and benefits.
Their diversity of minerals and vitamins such as A, B, C, D3, E and K make them a very interesting superfood to incorporate into the daily diet. There are a large number of varieties, with different flavors, textures, colors and characteristics.
Some of them, for their preparation, need a previous soaking, after which some varieties can be consumed raw, such as wakame or dulse, while kombu, sea spaghetti, cochayuyo or agar agar must be cooked.
To incorporate them into your diet, it is better to do it gradually until you become familiar with that new texture and flavor, typical of seaweed. Both nori seaweed and dulse seaweed are perfect to add in fine flakes astopping in soups and creams. They provide a tasty, salty and marine touch.
There are seaweed with more body and firmness such as wakame that is consumed in strips or arame in sautéed vegetables. The cochayuyo seaweed is totally different from the others. Much thicker, more consistent and slightly gelatinous inside, it has a mild flavor and a texture that may be reminiscent of mushrooms. Coarsely chopped it is perfect in stews and stews. They will be incorporated in the final 15 or 20 minutes of cooking the dish so that it is tender, but without falling apart.
The most famous dish in the world that contains seaweed is sushi. Nori seaweed sheets are used to roll the rice. It is not necessary to cook it, with a deep flavor, it is perfect to accompany rice dishes, both flaked on top and to prepare sushi maki.
Another very simple way to eat these sea vegetables is in tempura. The usual dough is prepared and some strips of sea spaghetti are submerged, previously soaked and well drained, and fried in plenty of oil. The result is spectacular.
Finally, a different case is agar agar. With a neutral and transparent flavor, what it gives us is texture in the dishes. If it is cooked in a liquid it melts completely and when it cools it hardens as if it were gelatin. It is an ideal alternative for vegans.
Original article by Iván Iglesias, University Expert in Nutrition and Dietetics and Estela Nieto, Psychologist, Master in psychopathology and health, and specialist in psychonutrition.