Seaweed Taste Review and Chinese Cooking Guides
Table of Contents
Why Chinese Love Seaweed?
As you already know, most Chinese live near the sea. Hence, it’s only natural for them to feed their stomach with meals sourced from the ocean. The addition of seaweeds brings another dimension to your dish. You can decide to fry, cook, or garnish your meal with it. Seaweeds can be used in a number of ways and is an ever-present ingredient in most Chinese dishes. Even though most people prefer to enjoy seaweeds as a side dish, it’s possible to consume as a healthy drink.
Seaweeds are easy to find and also comes cheap. If you live in China, it’s possible to get seaweeds from nearby seas. However, they’re readily available in most stores, but these versions need to be soaked in hot water for half an hour before they can be cooked.
What Does Seaweed Taste Like?
There are a lot of seaweeds hence you can’t attribute a specific taste to all its varieties. For instance, Nori, the seaweed found in Avocado rolls is mostly briny while dulse used most often as a spice in soup and salad has a smoky taste.
No matter the type of seaweeds you go for, the biggest similarity between them is the saltiness. It has an intense flavor which most people have likened to that of fish and has the umami flavor reminiscent in most Chinese delicacies.
However, if you’re scared that seaweed will be slimy like fish, you have nothing to worry about. For instance, Nori seaweed is quite crispy, and most tender when cooked. In some cases, you might find seaweeds chewy and too thick to eat if you go for those sold in sheets or stores. This type of seaweeds has to be soaked for some minutes before they will be cooked.
One thing we’ve come to love about seaweeds is its versatility. For first-timers, the taste can be quite strange and fishy since it tends to be incorporated into most fishy dishes. Originally, seaweed isn’t supposed to taste like fish its flavor is ocean-like, especially if you get one from the sea and not from the store.
How to Use Seaweed for Chinese Cooking?
Seaweeds can be used in a whole lot of dishes, but the method of cooking depends on the type of dish you want to use it with. Seaweeds can be boiled, fried, or even prepared with a soup. The taste you will arrive at largely depends on the cooking method. When fried, seaweeds tend to be crispy if they’re properly dried.
Most people believe deep-fried seaweeds tend to be crispy, but that’s not always the case. Deep-fried seaweeds often referred to as spring cabbage can be eaten as a snack or served as a main dish. Even though all seaweeds, whether Nori or drone can be deep-fried, you should know that your seaweeds must be appropriately dried before frying. If wet, the hot oil may spit out when it comes in contact with water. If you’re using dried seaweeds, make sure you soak in water for approximately one hour. In the case of fresh seaweeds, wash thoroughly to get rid of dirt.
When roasting seaweeds especially in the case of Nori, you must first ensure they’re dry before roasting. When roasting in an oven, you will have to resize the seaweed into small pieces and allow to roast for approximately 15 minutes before taking out. If you’re roasting over direct heat, you can flip each side after one minute to ensure they’re not burnt as this will ruin the taste completely.
Whether you’re roasting over medium heat or in an oven, close attention should be given to the surface. Basically, always keep the rough side out and the shiny side away from the grill. This is to ensure you come out with a beautiful green skin which is crispy all around.
The thought of actually cooking with seaweeds may be quite intimidating but is actually quite easy. Cooking seaweeds is quite straight forward. You have to sprinkle the vegetables over the top of what you’re cooking and wait for it to soften.
Most fresh seaweeds like Nori will have to be soaked for some minutes before they’re cooked. In the case of dry seaweeds, you have to soak for a longer time or risk chewing for long hours. Tough seaweeds adds little flavor when they’re cooked; hence, it’s essential to rehydrate before eating.
Is Seaweed Healthy?
If you’ve ever wondered why Chinese use a lot of seaweeds in their meals, you will be amazed at the numbers of nutrients it contains. Every seaweed has its own specific type of nutrient. Rather than garnishing your meal with vegetables, seaweeds serves as a better alternative. They’re packed with an equal amount of vitamins and adds more flavor and texture to any dish they’re served with.
The health benefits of seaweeds are quite numerous. The taste isn’t the only criteria that makes it highly sought-after. From studies, seaweed is known to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as cholesterol. Since heart diseases are largely caused by excessive blood clotting, seaweed contains compounds which prevent the blood from clotting.
Much has been said about losing weight. However, the secret to maintaining a healthy weight lies in consuming seaweeds. The Chinese incorporate seaweeds into most of their dishes to cut down on their weight. The fiber in seaweeds contains zero calories and slow down hunger, making you feel full all through the day.
If you still think incorporating seaweeds into your diet will be a bit hectic, you can skip the idea of eating it as a main dish and eat as snacks instead. It’s also possible to enjoy your seaweed as a drink. For years, the Chinese have been making healthy drinks with strips of fresh seaweeds. This is so different from soaking the seaweeds in hot water for hours. Here, the seaweed is combined with other ingredients adding more umami to its flavor.