The Japanese Tradition of Seaweed

Part of what makes Japanese cuisine unique is the Japanese relationship with seaweed. Though many coastal cultures have lived off of the ocean’s vegetation, none have honed the culinary seaweed art quite as much as Japan. You can find it all over, most recognizably in the strips of dried nori that hold much of the sushi together at our Seattle Japanese restaurant. Though it can be an acquired taste to many, fans of nori love it for its subtlety and singular texture, not to mention its amazing health benefits.

In general, seaweed is quite extraordinary among other foods. These simple sea plants boast the title of the food with the very richest concentration of minerals, which constitute up to thirty-eight percent of its dry weight. Among other seaweed, nori is notable as having the highest level of protein, with double the amount found in red meat (and without all that pesky fat and cholesterol). It’s loaded with fiber, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, and more vitamin A than can be found in carrots.

People in Japan consume as much as four kilograms of seaweed every year, to which nutritionists attribute the country’s lower rate of cancer. You can share in this phenomenon, too, at I Love Sushi!