Seaweeds are very rich in minerals. For example, they contain between seven and 14 times as much calcium as milk, depending on the type of seaweed.
(Nutritionists, dieticians, doctors and other medical professionals are therefore WRONG when they say that milk is the “best” source of calcium.)
It is not just calcium that is important, however. All minerals are.
Minerals strengthen us. Unfortuntely, modern agriculture, with the use of chemical fertilisers, deplete the soil of minerals. So it is important to eat seaweed regularly, for a regular source of minerals.
A little is enough. Too much minerals will make your body stiff and hard – from the macrobiotic perspective, they make you “too yang”.
The recommended intake for various types of seaweed are as follows:
- Kombu also known as kelp: about one-sq-inch size, daily – cooked together with rice or bean dishes, or used to make soup stock
- Wakame: about one- to two-inch strip daily – cooked with soups
- Nori: half to one sheet daily – eaten on its own, in soups or sprinkled over food
- Arame / Hijiki: about half cup as a side dish, once or twice a week
- Agar agar: occasional use in desserts
- Dulse, sea palm and other seaweeds may be used in small amounts.
If you are not sure what these seaweeds are, just look for them in natural foods stores or Japanese or Korean supermarkets.
Seaweeds are also sold in Chinese dried foods stores. The type sold as round, flat “cakes” – and used in dishes such as fish porridge, fishball noodles and yong taufoo – is nori. Chinese stores may also have kombu and wakame, but I am not sure of their Chinese names.
Hijiki with lotus root
- 15 g dried hijiki (about 1/4 packet), soaked
- 6-inch section lotus root
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- few drops ginger juice
Soak hijiki for 10 minutes. Place in a pot and add just enough water to cover.
Cut lotus root into 1/4-inch slices. Place on top of hijiki and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.
Add soy sauce. Grate some ginger and squeeze in a few drops of ginger juice. Mix well and cook another 3 minutes before serving.
- Cook hijiki with carrot, onion, shiitake mushrooms, corn, celery and other vegetables, or with mixed vegetables.
- Add vegetables towards the end of the cooking period if you do not wish to overcook them.
- Cook together with beans. In this case, soak and cook beans until they are nearly done, then add hijiki about 20 minutes before end of cooking period. Hijiki with soybeans makes a nice combination.
- Use arame instead of hijiki but reduce the cooking time to about 15 minutes.
Kombu with shiitake
- 8-inch strip kombu seaweed
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
Soak kombu and cut into small squares. Soak shiitake and cut into halves or quarters.
Place in a pot and add just enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add soy sauce. Mix well and cook another 3 minutes before serving.
Wakame with onions and tahini
- 12-inch strip wakame seaweed
- 4 large onions, cut into halves
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
Soak wakame for about 10 minutes and cut into small squares.
Place wakame at the bottom of the pot and add just enough water to cover. Place onions on top.
Mix together soy sauce and tahini and dribble over onions.
Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
Nori condiment with wasabi
- 4 sheets nori seaweed, or 1/2 flat round “cake” if using Chinese type
- 1 tsp wasabi powder
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup water
Break up nori into small pieces. Add water and mash into a paste.
Add soy sauce and cook over low fire for 15 minutes. Add wasabi powder, mix well and cook another 5 minutes.
Serve as a condiment to go with rice or porridge.
Variations: Use chilli powder or ginger juice in place of wasabi.