Recipes to try:
Seared Shiitakes > Pickled Kelp
> Soba Salad
from the Sea :
Everyday Cooking with Sea Greens
The incredible plants from the sea, often referred to
as seaweed, has increased in popularity over the past
several years due to the popularity of "super foods"
in the mainstream. People wanting to feel and look better,
lose weight, have more energy are finding this category
of foods not quite as strange as before.
Markets everywhere carry packages of seaweed ready to
eat as well as the familiar marinated seaweed salads.
One can even find sweet treats to chips with these powerful
plants as an added health benefit.
While these plants are gaining recognition now, they
really are forgotton foods from the past. These ancient
life forms, sea algae or seaweed, have virtually been
lost by our modern world. With the macrobiotic and natural
foods world expanding into the corporate chain sales
of food, people are waking up the possibilities of how
they will benefit from these miracle plants as well
as eating real foods!
Power foods or nutrient dense foods are foods that provide
essential nutrients by consuming small amounts on a
regular basis. With the increasing mind set of "supersizing"
foods, and "if it's good for me , then alot must
be better", we must be conscious of too much of
anything takes away from building health. Excess never
With twenty years of cooking and eating sea vegetables
with great pleasure, it was not until I harvested these
plants in northern California did I fall in love with
I frequently suggest to students who want to pursue
cooking as a profession, to experience working in a
garden for at least one growing season.
To make contact with
the earth and the plants, to see directly the magic
and mystery that supports our life on this planet. Likewise,
to be up at low tide, with the moon on the horizon,
the sky darkened still by the night, to smell the sea
water and then to venture out into frigid waters awakened
in me a connection to the past.
Ancient plants still on the planet, plants lush as a
forest preferring cold, dark waters. Powerful plants
anchored to the sea floor sway with the constant push
and pull of the tides, resilient yet flexible in their
growth cycle. These plants give endlessly as long as
care is provided when cutting, to ensure next years
harvest in the early spring.
Nutrient dense sea vegetables contain vitamin A, D,
E, B1, B2, vitamin C, phosphorous, potassium ( this
gives the plants it's salty flavor ), not the sodium
as many suspect! Plenty of calcium, iron, iodine, fiber,
sodium amd small amounts of protein.
Sea water is very close
in chemical composition to the human body, just in diluted
form. The regular consumption of these foods, in quantities
that support your unique condition, can help stabilize
blood sugar levels, cleanse the intestinal tract, purify
and alkalize the blood, cleanse the lymphatic system,
re-balance hormones and help bind and remove heavy metals
from the system.Powerful gifts from nature.
Regardless of how long you may be cooking with these
sea treasures, their are truelly endless ways to prepare
them. Based on you taste preferences for either a milder
flavor, wakame, agar, nori and arame or a bolder more
demanding one like hiziki, kombu, sea lettuce, sea palm
and dulse, you can create snacks, condiments entrees,
salads, soups/stews, pickles and desserts. Some are
delicious just lightly marinated, my favorite in the
Besides their versatility in food preparation, they
add a unique color and texture unlike any other foods.
I remember in a cooking class with Aveline Kushi many
years ago, a student was repeatledly asking the very
patient, soft spoken Aveline how many calories, what
vitamins and minerals did a particular food have and
what was it good for? Her simple, direct, honest answer
is always with me. Aveline replied,
" if you eat with all the colors nature provides,
you will have your needs met"
Try new ways to prepare your sea vegetables. They have
been eaten for thousands of years by most sea cultures
around the world, with the Asian population consuming
the most. Some of the most delicious sea plants are
harvested here in the United States, both the Northeast
and Northwest by hand!!
Happy cooking adventures from my kitchen to yours.
Here to order Jill Gusman's new book
Jill currently teaches
in the United States. The book, Vegetables From the
Sea, everyday cooking with sea greens is her first book.
A senior cooking instructor and lecturer at The Natural
Gourmet Cookery School
in New York City, Jill travels and teaches at various
health related institutions, and does radio interviews
on health and sea vegetables. She can be contacted at
1 bunch kale, cut
into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shiitakes, stems removed, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tamari
3 sheets toasted nori, torn into 1-inch pieces
1. Cook kale in boiling
water until bright green. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shiitakes
and saute until soft and lightly browned on the edges.
Add the boiled kale and combine all ingredients well.
3. Pour the tamari over the mixture, stir in the nori,
remove from heat after moisture evaporates.
1 ounce dried kelp
1/2 cup tamari
2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1. Rinse the kelp in
cool water for 5 seconds. Cover with fresh cool water
and soak for 10 minutes. Lift out and slice into 1/2
inch wide pieces. Set aside.
2. Pour tamari, vinegar
and maple syrup into a glass jar. Stir well and add
the shallot and garlic. Add the kelp and stir well.
Let mixture sit at room temperature for one hour. Cover
and refrigerate for 24 hours. Pickles are ready.
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup lightly packed arame
2 teaspoons tamari
1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar(see box, page 51)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and salt.
2 teaspoons sea salt sprouts and scallions
4 cups bean sprouts,rinsed and drained
6 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1. In a large pot, boil
3 quarts of water, Add the noodles and cook until
the noodles are the same color inside and outside, 5
to 7 minutes.
Drain and rinse under warm water and place in a large
2. Rinse the arame in
a bowl of cool water for 5 seconds and drain, Cover
with water and soak for 7 minutes. Lift the arame out
of the water with your hands and place it in a small
bowl. Add the tamari and stir well to
coat the arame. Add to the noodles, mixing well with
two large wooden
3. Whisk together in
a small bowl the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard,Pour
the dressing over the noodles, mixing well again. Add
the and give the mixture a quick toss before serving,
Cooked small shrimp
or steamed tofu may be added for a more robust salad.