What comes to mind when you think of seaweed? Sushi, sushi rolls, and the ocean are all examples of seafood.
If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a substitute for seaweed that tastes just as good but without the negative effects.
The answer is yes! It turns out to have some similar properties to seaweed and can make great substitutes in many recipes.
Substitute for Seaweed
Seaweed substitutes are foodstuffs used instead of seaweed to reduce the cost or add another flavor profile to a dish.
Nori and kombu are two of the most popular, but other options are also available.
NORI- Replicate Seaweed
Nori is a variety of edible seaweed that can be eaten raw or cooked. Nori is commonly used in Japanese cuisine and was the original form of sushi.
The paper-like substance can be bought in dried sheets and is often toasted or roasted before being used.
This plant is found in the colder waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Unlike seaweed, nori does not need to be soaked before being eaten.
Nori is an excellent substitute for seaweed in recipes that call for a crispy texture and subtle flavor.
In fact, many Japanese dishes feature nori because they resemble the seaweed used in traditional preparations.
It can be seen in most supermarkets and is typically sold in sheets that can be cut into thin strips or torn into smaller pieces.
Like seaweed, nori is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron and iodine.
KOMBU– Healthy Aternative to Seaweed
Kombu is a variety of edible kelp that can be eaten raw or cooked. Kombu is often used in Japanese cuisine and is found in many soups or broths.
It can also be cut into strips, torn into smaller pieces, or even ground up to use in condiments, sauces, or dressings.
Kombu is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Many people who live in colder climates prefer to use kombu as their seaweed replacement.
It can be utilized in soups or broths, like its marine counterpart, but it is most often added to beans while they are cooking. This helps release some of the gas that certain types of beans contain, leading to discomfort when eaten.
The seaweed should be discarded after use when cooking beans with kombu because it loses its flavor when dried.
Kombu is another excellent substitution for seaweed. It has a slightly stronger flavor than nori, but it is still a good fit for most dishes.
Kombu can be found in most health food stores and Asian markets. It is sold in dried strips or as a powder.
When using kombu as a substitute for seaweed, be sure to rehydrate it before adding it to your dish. This can be done by soaking it in water for 30 minutes to an hour.
SOYBEAN SHEET- Vegan Substitute for Seaweed
Soybean sheet, a.k.a Mamenori, Soybean sheet is a food product made from soybeans. It is made by grinding soybeans into a paste and then spreading it into a thin sheet.
Soybean sheets can be eaten raw or cooked. You can easily replace seaweed with a soybean sheet.
TOFU SKIN- A Decent Vegan Seaweed substitute
Tofu Skin (soaked in water, then thinly sliced) is like seaweed when added to stir-fried vegetables or noodles.
Tofu Skin has an interesting texture, which most people would not expect in a vegan recipe. It’s generally used in Japanese Cuisine for salads, soups, and tempura.
You can find Tofu Skin at most Asian supermarkets or online. It is a great way to add more plant-based protein and minerals to your diet!
Tofu Skin has a chewy texture and a slightly salty flavor.
ORIGAMI WRAPPER – Easy Replacemant for Seaweed
You may use origami wrappers in a variety of recipes. You can use it to replace seaweed, give food a crispy texture, or add flavor.
Here are a few examples:
1. Crispy Seaweed Salad:
· In a bowl, combine 2 cups of chopped Napa cabbage,
· 1/4 cup of white sesame seeds,
· 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and
· 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
In a small pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of origami wrapper and cook until crispy, about 2 minutes. Add the crispy origami wrapper to the salad bowl and stir to combine.
2. Crispy Nori Rolls:
Take a sushi mat and place it on the counter. Place 1 cup of cooked sushi rice (1/4 cup uncooked) in the middle, spreading out to each side.
Lay slices of avocado, cucumber, a jalapeno pepper (or your favorite vegetables), and shrimp on top of the rice in a line.
Roll up the sushi mat, compressing the ingredients to form a tight roll.
Dip your finger in water and moisten the top edge of the nori wrapper.
Tightly squeeze the roll with both hands, so it sticks together when you cut it into pieces for serving (about 6-8 pieces per roll).
3. Delicious Origami Wrapper Chips:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut origami wrapper into thin strips, about 1/8-inch wide.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Enjoy as a snack or appetizer!
How can I eat sushi if I don’t like seaweed?
If you dislike eating seaweed, there are a few alternatives.
The first is to ask your sushi chef to prepare your rolls without seaweed. This may mean that you’ll have slightly different rolls than everyone else, but it’s a small price to pay for avoiding something you don’t enjoy.
Another option is to prepare a roll with “neta” (toppings) on the side. You can then pick and choose which pieces you want to eat.
If you don’t like cucumbers or other veggies, just take them off and leave the fish on!
Try nigiri (fish served on top of a small bed of rice). This is the simplest and most traditional form of sushi, so it’s a great place to start if you’re new to the cuisine.
Plus, there are no seaweed wrappers involved! Just be sure to dip your fish in soy sauce before eating.
Read More- Rice vinegar Alternatives for Sushi
Can you substitute rice paper for seaweed?
No, you cannot substitute rice paper for seaweed.
Seaweed is a type of algae that grows in the ocean. It is high in fiber and minerals and has a salty taste.
Rice paper is a thin, translucent paper made from rice flour. It is used to make spring rolls, dumplings, and other dishes in some Asian countries.
Rice paper is not as nutritious as seaweed and does not taste salty.
Can you freeze seaweed?
Yes, you can freeze seaweed. Seaweed is sold in dried form and does not spoil quickly.
You can buy as much or as little of it as you like without worrying about having too much food to eat before it spoils.
When you buy seaweed, put as much as you want in a plastic bag and take it home.
When you get ready to eat some of the seaweed, take it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw for several hours before eating it.
Does California roll contain seaweed?
The California roll, or “norimaki,” which means “seaweed outside,” is popular Japanese sushi composed of avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab meat rolled in nori seaweed.
It was created by Ichiro Mashita at the Tokyo Kaikan restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
Although it seems like the California roll contains seaweed, it is actually made of imitation crab sticks.
Nori seaweed gives the sushi a slightly briny flavor and a red or green color.
How do you make sushi paper?
The word “sushi” describes dishes made with vinegared rice, including sushi rolls, maki, and other dishes.
Sushi paper may be known by different names around the world. Still, other than that, it’s basically edible paper made from seaweed. It’s also known as ‘Nori’ in Japanese.
Making sushi paper is very simple, and all you need is some seaweed and water. You first need to select a type of seaweed that you want to use for your sushi paper.
There are many different types of seaweed available, but the most common type used for sushi paper is called ‘nori.’
After you’ve selected your seaweed type, soak it in water for about 20 minutes and then remove the excess water by placing it on a cutting board and gently patting it dry.
You can try using a fork to squeeze out even more excess moisture if needed.
Once the seaweed is moist but not soggy, place it on a clean cutting board and cut it into thin strips.
You can create the strips as thin or as thick as you want, but keep in mind that the thicker they are, the more difficult they will be to chew.
Once the seaweed is cut into strips, you’re ready to start making your sushi paper. Take one strip of seaweed and place it in the palm of your hand.
Gently fold it in half and then press it down with your fingers to make a small square.
Next, use a fork to flatten the square even more, and then use your fingers to shape it into a thin rectangle.
Finally, use the fork to make a few indentations in the top of the rectangle to give it a sushi paper texture.
Your sushi paper is now ready to use! Simply place it on top of your sushi roll or maki and enjoy. It’s also great for dipping into soy sauce or other dipping sauces.
Wrap Up on Seaweed substitute
Overall, there are many potential substitutes for seaweed that can provide similar nutrients and benefits.
Some of these substitutes include tofu skin, origami wrappers, and nori.
While each option has unique nutrients and benefits, they all offer a comparable alternative to seaweed.
It is easy to find a substitute that fits your needs with so many options available.