A favourite childhood snack for schoolchildren of the 80s and 90s, seaweed is making a triumphant return! Not as a salted snack for kids this time, but as a true superfood that’s worthy of finding its place in any chef’s menu.
In fact, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver even proclaimed it to be “the most nutritious vegetable in the world”, after a diet that included seaweed helped him with a weight loss plan in the lead up to his 40th birthday.
Why are diners turning to seaweed?
In recent years, seaweed has been gaining a reputation of being a superfood, with benefits that include:
- Being alkalising and helping to balance pH levels in our body
- Encouraging weight loss
- Being rich in antioxidants
- Building strong bones
- Containing an assortment of vitamins and other nutrients
The bottom line is diners want more seaweed in their diets, so let’s give it to them!
Health-conscious customers love smoothies because they pack lots of fantastic nutrients in one great-tasting drink. Now, you can make your smoothies extra-tempting by adding a teaspoon of powdered seaweed into the mix. It goes especially well with banana or avocado smoothies.
Toss it into salads
Salads are a great place to add seaweed to – it is a green, after all. But there are more ways to dish it up other than simply throwing it in. You could sprinkle powdered seaweed into your salad dressing, transforming its taste. If you prefer to simply add it to your salad, we’d recommend using arame or wakame seaweed.
Better soups and stocks
Asian chefs already recognise the value of seaweed in soups, with Chinese and Korean cuisine featuring soups that have them as their predominant ingredient. But apart from these seaweed soups, we haven’t seen this ingredient used much in other soups, which presents an opportunity for you. Try adding seaweed to meat-based soups or even creamy ones. It’s all a matter of letting those creative juices flow and coming up with inventive soup recipes that incorporate this superfood.
Give diners what they want!
While there’s an ongoing discussion on whether its reputation is well-earned or if it’s a combination of science and marketing, the end result is diners who believe the claims want seaweed on the menu. And as chefs, our role is to make our diners happy by serving up the delicious meals that they love to eat.