What’s a healthy, leafy green that has a name that starts with K? Nope, we aren’t referencing kale; we’re talking about kelp, also known as a type of seaweed. Kelp naturally grows along many coasts, so it’s readily available. The thing is, though: many Americans don’t think of seaweed, or kelp, as a daily, green staple.
Those of us who reside in the states tend to think of it as “the thing that holds sushi together.” Well, with a little word of mouth and a bit marketing, it will be just a matter of time before kelp becomes a daily staple for every green food lover. And luckily, kelp (along with other types of seaweed) is easy to prepare, and there are plenty kelp recipes out there.
So, why is kelp so great? First off, it’s tasty. Kelp and other types of seaweed have an umami flavor, so they can “bump up” the savory flavors in many dishes. And according to NPR, kelp and other sea plants also are full of iodine, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12.
The following kelp recipes are light and full of simple, staple ingredients.
Kelp Hot Potatoes
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
6 potatoes (white or sweet)
2 ½ to 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup tightly packed kelp (about 1 ounce), lightly rinsed
1 cup water
Combine soy sauce and honey in small bowl; mix and set aside. Cut the potatoes into bite–size pieces, and sauté in the oil until golden -- stir often. Cut kelp into pieces (approximately 1-inch long), and add to potatoes. Add soy–honey mixture and stir. Add water; cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Miso Noodle Soup with Kelp
1 strip of approximately 5" kelp
4 oz noodles (somen, ramen, or your favorite noodle)
6 cups water
1 Tbsp light miso (barley)
¼ lb tofu, firm or extra firm, diced
½ cup carrot strips
¼ cup red pepper strips
¼ cup sliced scallions
2 tsp grated ginger
Simmer kelp in water for about 8–10 minutes. Remove kelp and reserve the broth. Let cool and slice into thin 3–4" long noodle like strips. Replace the kelp strips in the broth, simmer on low heat for a few more minutes. Add noodles and cook until slightly underdone. Purée miso in a cup with some broth. Add tofu, vegetables, ginger, and miso to broth and stir. Season to taste.
All kelp recipes from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, which sells tested-for-contaminants kelp, seaweed.
Do you eat kelp or other types of seaweed regularly? If so, tell us your favorite kelp recipes in the comment section.
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