How to Incorporate Sea Vegetables in a Plant-Based Diet

How the heck do you cook sea vegetables to make the most of their nutrients? The following tips on preparation and cooking techniques can help you make sure to get them right.

Preparation quick tips

Use these quick how-tos to get your sea veggies ready.

  • Dulse: You can usually add dulse to your recipe without soaking it first. Just rinse it quickly under cool running water. Using a rocking motion with your chef’s knife, chop it to the desired size.

  • Arame: Place it in a small strainer and rinse. Then place it in a bowl of warm water and soak for about 20 minutes. Strain and rinse again. Chop it to the desired size.

  • Kombu: Rinse it first under running water for a short time and then place it in warm water until it’s soft. Kombu usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to soften. Chop it and add it to your recipe.

  • Wakame: Rinse your wakame under cool running water for a short time and then soak it in a bowl of warm water. Wakame softens fairly quickly, in five to seven minutes. Chop it and add it to your recipe.

Healthy cooking for sea vegetables

Try these easy ways to cook some of these mysterious-sounding foods. Not so mysterious anymore, huh?

  • Kombu: Add chopped kombu to soup and simmer for at least ten minutes before adding any other sea vegetables, as kombu takes longer to cook. Cook for at least 20 minutes.

  • Wakame: Wakame softens quickly and takes very little time to cook. Chop it and add it to soup, and then cook it for only five to ten minutes.

  • Nori: You can usually buy nori already toasted. If it’s not, you can toast it in a 350-degree oven for one to two minutes, until the nori changes color from dark purple-black to phosphorescent green. Use raw nori to keep all the nutrients intact.

The water you use to soak sea vegetables becomes very nutritious and flavorful and can be used in the recipe you’re making. To gain maximum flavor and nutrition, use no more water to soak your sea vegetables than can be incorporated into the recipe.

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