GO FOR A SWIM...
More and more people are interested in learning more about
vegetables from the sea. Like the mineral rich ocean, sea
vegetables hold high quality calcium, iron, potassium and
trace elements. No other food found on land or sea packs as
many nutrients. In fact, our blood contains the same one hundred
or so minerals and trace elements as in the ocean.
Most of us eat processed sea vegetables every day and don't
even know it! Manufacturers use them as thickeners and stabilizers
in such products as ice cream, instant pudding, whipped toppings,
salad dressings, and even toothpaste. But unprocessed sea
vegetables haven't caught on much outside of Asia. It's a
shame, since they're dense with vitamins, minerals, and protein,
yet low in calories.
Most sea vegetables are salty flavored and can
be used as a condiment or a snack. They can add a lot of interesting
flavor to soups, salads, stir-frys, sandwiches, vegetable
and rice dishes. Sea vegetables are dried and packaged.
OF SEA VEGETABLES
Agar-agar or just agar, is a vegetable gelatin used over 1000
years in Asia. It is boiled, pressed into cakes, then dried
and flaked. It contains no calories and is used in desserts,
jellies and "jello" type dishes called kanten. It
is also used in petri dishes. To make your own natural jello,
use one tablespoon flakes to one cup of fruit juice. Boil,
reduce heat, stir in agar, and simmer 5 minutes. Pour over
fruit arranged in a mold. Cool until firm.
Arame is a black seaweed sliced into long strands. It is and
a variety of kelp with a mild sweet flavor and is great with
other vegetables. Soak 15 minutes before use.
Dulse is red with fan shaped fronds. Dried, it can be eaten
raw as "beef jerky of the sea." Sauté in
a little oil until crisp to create a mild smoky flavor for
a delicious DLT sandwich. It was commonly served in 18th century
Britain with fish, potatoes and butter. It is good in chowders.
Do not soak first.
Hiziki or hijiki is a black, curly seagrass that climbs over
rocks and sea bottoms. It has a mild flavor and is good stir-fried
with other vegetables, making it a nutritious side dish. Soak
before using. In the Far East, it is an esteemed food that
is said to increase beauty as well as strengthening and adding
luster to hair.
Kelp is the fastest growing plant on land or sea, growing
up to 2 feet daily and reaching over 1000 feet in length.
Nearly 900 varieties are known, including arame, kombu and
wakame (these are packaged separately). Kelp is usually packaged
in capsules as a supplement.
Kombu is a sea vegetable whose name is often interchanged
with kelp. It is good in soup stocks and stews and is often
cooked with beans to make them easier to digest. Soak 15 minutes
before use. It is delicious layered with root vegetables in
a casserole and sprinkled with a ginger-tamari sauce, then
Nori, also known as laver, was originally harvested by scraping
it from bamboo stalks growing wild in shallow mud flat. It
is now grown on the open ocean by seeding ropes and stretching
just below the surface. Nori is dried in sheets, similar to
old-fashioned paper making. Dry weight is 50% protein. Toast
over open flame or burner and crumble on salads, soup, vegetables
or rice. Sushi nori sheets are ready to use to make sushi.
Wakame is harvested in Japan and grows in long, thin ribbons.
ALARIA is biologically almost identical and is harvested in
Maine. Soak wakame only 5 minutes, any longer and it becomes
too soft. Remove the spine, and save for soups.
SOME SEA-WORTHY RECIPES
TO TRY AT HOME
2 green onions, chopped
8 oz firm tofu, cut into small cubes
4 Tbs. white miso
6 Tbs. dried wakame, snipped
½ cup soy mozzarella, cubed
3 tsp. brewers yeast flakes
Bring 4 cups Water to a simmer. Add miso, onions,
tofu in small cubes, and wakame. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove
from heat and add soy mozzarella in small cubes. Sprinkle
on brewer's yeast flakes. Let flavors bloom 30 seconds and
back to top
1 oz dried wakame
10 oz package frozen succotash vegetables
8 oz crumbled tofu
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbs. minced chives
2 Tbs. umeboshi plum vinegar or brown rice vinegar
Soak wakame in water for 30 minutes. Drain and steam for
10 minutes until
tender. Snip into 1-inch pieces, removing the tough stems.
Cook frozen vegetables and crumbled tofu in a pan according
to package directions. Sauté onion in oil until fragrant.
Toss with vegetables and wakame. Add chives and vinegar,
and let marinate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
back to top
makes 6 cups
3 medium carrots, rinsed and quartered
3 stalks celery, rinsed and quartered
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
6-inch piece kombu (see glossary)
1 bunch parsley stems and/or leaves
1 to 2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme or herb of choice
In a large pot, combine all ingredients. Add 8 cups cold
water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low,
cover partially and simmer 45 minutes.
Pour stock through strainer into clean pot or storage container;
discard solids. Even though vegetables have been washed, watch
for grit that may have settled at
bottom of pot. For a richer, more concentrated flavor, continue
to simmer strained stock, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
Cool, cover and refrigerate 4 to 5 days, or freeze up to 2
back to top
Thanks to Open Harvest Food Co-op; Lincoln, Nebraska, for information
used in this brochure