Grocery Great: Sea Veggies

In this Grocery Greats segment, ForXx is exploring the world of sea veggies.

Come with me under the sea…for a tasty veggie?

In case you haven’t heard, there are some great vegetables under the sea. They’re called Sea Veggies. Nori (pictured) would be the most common if you eat sushi because it’s used to make the California rolls at most restaurants. Nori varies in color from dark purple to marine green. It contains both iodine and vitamin C. At-home cooks can use it as a condiment for rice, soups, salads, casseroles or grains either crushed into flakes or cut into strips.

Food manufacturers also often use processed sea vegetables as thickeners like Agar-Agar. It’s a clear Japanese gelatin and a tasteless alternative to animal- or chemical-based gelatins that also come in opaque flakes. It dissolves in hot liquid and thickens at room temperature. Agar-Agar is most commonly used in puddings, toothpaste, jellies and pies.

Sea veggies are plentiful, easy to cook and full of flavor. Finding these deep-sea treasures was a delicious surprise. So how can you use sea veggies at home? Simply dissolve some Arame in hot water for a great broth and combine with your favorite pasta and chicken.  You may be wondering if sea veggies taste fishy.  Although they are from the sea, they are not fishy in flavor. Start with the sweet, mild flavors of Arame and Wakame first. I’m sure they’ll win you over.

Whole Foods carries a more-than-good selection of sea veggies or you can visit your local Asian grocer.

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