Algae are sea vegetables, rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, making them a great food to include in our diet. These are the 3 most used algae in the kitchen
Seaweed is a good culinary resource to increase the nutritional quality of our diet; they are low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is enough to use them in small quantity . We will see below three very versatile types of seaweed that can be added in many types of preparations and thus achieve an exotic touch in our dishes.
Kombu seaweed has a very characteristic flavor that is called umami , which means tasty and represents one of the 5 basic flavors along with the classics: sweet, salty, sour and bitter . It stands out for its content in alginic acid, water, fiber, proteins and minerals .
We can use it like any other vegetable or even to enrich preparations. Thus we can make soups or broths of great nutritional richness or also salads , pancakes or green smoothies if it is in powder format (dehydrated). Also add a teaspoon of powdered seaweed as a natural flavoring or seasoning or spice. It is usually added to the cooking water of legumes and whole grains in order to facilitate the digestion of these foods. You can even prepare a seasoning called Shio-kombu, (usually used as a dressing) and prepare with:
- A few pieces of kombu
- 3/4 of cup of spring water
- 1/3 cup of tamari.
- Let the seaweed soak for 10 minutes, then cook it with the same water and the tamari over medium heat for 45 minutes with a lid.
Nori seaweed (Porphira) is known, above all, for being the seaweed that is used to make the famous Sushi . This type of algae always comes from crops; Once collected fresh, it is dried in the sun or in the oven, spread out in small quantities on bamboo mats (that is why it has a smooth side and a rough side). It stands out for its antioxidant value , in addition to containing a large amount of iodine and minerals such as calcium and potassium, among other properties.
It is usually sold in packages of 10 sheets and its color can vary from reddish to brown, dark green or black depending on the state of cooking or roasting. We can also find it in flakes, ideal to add in soups, creams, purees, in salads or stews or to make rice balls , desserts or as a table condiment .
It is a polysaccharide that comes from some red algae. In Japan they call it Kant (cold sky) but the name comes from the Malays who called it agar (gelatin) since it has thickening, stabilizing and gelling properties . Like all algae, it is very nutritious, has a high percentage of iodine and trace elements . Although it is not one of the most outstanding in this regard, it is widely used to combat constipation due to its high fiber content .
It can be found in powder, flakes and strips, separated or forming a compact block.In the kitchen it is very popular in haute cuisine because it does not give food color, odor, or flavor and due to its property of gelifying ten times more faster than gelatin of animal origin, and with less quantity, since it absorbs up to 300 times its weight.
What you should know…
- From a nutritional point of view, algae are low in calories, have a high concentration of proteins, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins.
- Some of the best known are: kombu, wakame and nori.