If you fancy adding seaweed to your store cupboard ingredients it’s stocked in fishmongers, health stores, larger supermarkets and Asian markets. There are also some wonderful Irish seaweed companies selling their products online including Wild Irish Sea Veg, This is Seaweed. A lady called Prannie Rhatigan wrote an intriguing book on seaweed & stocks some seaweed products on her website.
I started to use seaweed in my recipes and cooking when I lived in Japan. Seaweed is an important part of the Japanese diet, from sushi making to simple stocks and salads. Now, back in Ireland I continue to integrate seaweed into all types of recipes! Here is a list of the seaweeds that I regularly use for cooking.
Kombu (kelp) seaweed
It’s filled with umami (the fifth taste) and one of the main ingredients used to make Japanese cooking stock (dashi). It’s also used for salads and stews. Kelp seaweed can be found along the coast of Ireland.
Nori is best known outside of Japan for wrapping sushi rolls and onigiri (Japanese rice balls). Nori can be bought as roasted seaweed sheets or milled (aonori). This type of seaweed is relatively easy to find in most supermarkets. Once opened, nori sheets need to be stored in an airtight container or they will lose their crispy texture. Ao-nori (milled nori) is often sprinkled over dishes such as okonomiyaki and yakisoba just before serving.
Wakame can be bought as small dried pieces. It is added to miso soup and salads. Be careful how much dried wakame you add to a dish as these tiny pieces of seaweed expand once they are in water.
This is a reddish-brown seaweed that you can easily find along the coast of Ireland. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. It can be used in cooking and baking.