Healthy Recipes Using Seaweed Snacks That Go Way Beyond Sushi

Packed with vitamins from A to zinc, this underwater veggie makes a splash in any dish.

two bowls of popcorn dusted in seaweed, one bowl tipped over with popcorn spilling
Photo: IslandLeigh/Getty

When you're on the hunt for a quick, savory snack, opting for seaweed is a delicious way to add a boost of nutrients to your day. Seaweed snacks are packed with important vitamins and minerals such as iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and C.

When you buy it in stores, you'll most often find dried seaweed — usually the nori variety, which is the kind used to wrap sushi — sold in sheets, flakes, or handy snack packs. Fresh seaweed, on the other hand, is commonly sold as an ingredient for prepared foods such as sushi or seaweed salad.

The slightly sweet, vaguely salty taste of seaweed pairs well with savory, creamy foods such as avocado, tahini, and hummus, which makes it easy to concoct creative recipes with seaweed snacks. You can also nosh on it with crisp, hydrating veggies such as cucumber or enjoy it alongside sushi-grade fish and salty flavors such as smoked salmon, miso paste, and soy sauce.

Tasty Recipes with Seaweed Snacks

When you're in the mood for a burst of umami flavor, here are a few quick ideas for recipes with seaweed as the star ingredient.

Add to toast.

Top a slice of sprouted grain toast with smoked salmon, smashed avocado, or hummus. Crumble dried seaweed on top for a subtle flavor.

Make tea sandwiches.

Take four sheets of dried seaweed. Spread two with hummus and sliced cucumber or zucchini. Top each with the remaining sheets and cut each piece into two — making a total of four mini seaweed sandwiches.

Mix into hummus.

Purée crumbled dried seaweed in a food processor or blender with store-bought hummus for a new depth of flavor. Alternatively, you can make your own with chickpeas or white beans, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. A teaspoon of white miso paste adds even more rich umami flavor.

Try sesame seaweed wraps (or sliders).

Slice a cucumber very thin and use the pieces as wraps for broken-up seaweed sheets and a creamy spread such as avocado or a homemade sesame dressing. You can also roll up fresh ginger in the seaweed snacks — just be sure to soak the ginger in water before using it to take some of the bite out.

Toss in your popcorn.

Crumble a few sheets of dried seaweed and toss with popcorn. Sprinkle in sea salt or other seasonings you like — such as nutritional yeast, which provides some protein and vitamin B12. This works with bagged popcorn, but you can also make it fresh by placing 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag, folding the top of the bag a couple of times, and microwaving a minute or two or until the kernels stop popping. Remove the bag from the microwave, add seaweed and desired seasonings, and toss to combine.

Blend into a smoothie.

FYI, the subtle taste of seaweed is barely detectable in a green smoothie. Mix in a few sheets with whichever other greens you're using. As an added bonus, the slight saltiness will highlight the sweetness of the other ingredients. Try it with spinach, frozen banana, coconut water, and your favorite protein powder.

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