What Does Seaweed Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Seaweed Taste Like? 

Seaweed is rich in iodine giving it an intense salty and minerally taste at first bite, perfect to hit that umami in your tastebuds. Different textures tend to taste different depending on their mode of preparation. 

This guide describes to you exactly what to expect when taking a bite of seaweed. 

Having tasted it in a delicious number of Korean dishes myself, I can assure you it’s great!

Let’s dive right in!

What is Seaweed? 

Seaweed or microalgae is a marine plant body that grows in the sea, river, and, streams.

One of its types, Nori has a saline taste and is most commonly tasted in the Japanese Sushi rolls, the Korean Kimbap, and Avocado rolls.

The other kind, Dulse is found in soups, and salads and is identified for its smoky flavor, fitting with the said delicacies.

Here is a quick description of the different types of seaweed and their nutritional values.  

What Does Seaweed Taste Like? 

Seaweed has a heavily salty and briny flavor to it, making its place in the umami family of flavors. Nori, a type of seaweed can be crisp in texture and grows chewy once moistened, hence used in Sushi rolls. Dulse, on the other hand, is dried and savored mostly as a healthy vegan snack.

Contrary to popular opinions, seaweed tastes or smells nothing like fish or bacon. Rather, its taste can be compared to that of heavily salted boiled leafy greens like spinach.

The chewy and strong texture makes it a reliable roll cover, seen in several Asian cookeries. 

Green seaweed also called sea lettuce is a known side dish in Korean cuisines.

Being rich in iodine, calcium, sodium, and vitamin B12, it serves as a perfect base ingredient and as a perfect snack to munch on. 

The Texture of Seaweed

Seaweed is known to have a distinctly crunchy yet fibrous texture. It tastes milder than any other sea vegetable and is silky smooth to the touch. 

The texture and feel differ depending on its type.

Wakame has a sweet taste while Kombu needs to be moistened. Hijiki is crisp and usually stir-fried, and Irish moss is rich and used as a thickening agent.

Is Seaweed Fishy? 

The simplest answer would be, no seaweed does not necessarily taste or smell like fish. It has a definite ‘sea-like’ minerally and salty taste, unlike that of fish. 

Many find it overwhelming to take a bite of an organic sea snack and one that has the acquired taste of any other sea-grown vegetable.

The reason some consider seaweed to be fishy is that seaweed is widely served with fish platters which gives the perception of a similar taste pattern. 

What do Seaweed Snacks Taste Like? 

Fried and roasted seaweed sheets tend to taste the same as regular seaweed and are sold as thin square or rectangular-shaped chips. Flavored seaweed snacks however include variations ranging from wasabi to teriyaki. 

Toasted seaweed tends to have a nutty flavor with additional flavors of olive oil, sesame oil and almonds, avocado, coconut, sriracha, and, jalapeno in most brands.  

Does Dried Seaweed Taste Good? 

Dried seaweed tastes as good as any thinly baked snack: rich, salty, savory, and, much more. Dried and crushed seaweed flakes work as a great garnish to top your favorite salad, grilled seafood or, noodle soup.

Dried seaweed, with its ‘funky’ salty taste, can also compensate in less salty dishes. 

What do Roasted Seaweed Taste Like? 

Roasted Seaweed has a subtle but unique sea-like taste, prominently salty and briny too. 

Flavors to fit your palette just fine are all you would need to make this light flaky snack a regular.

The right amount of sea salt sprinkled on dried and roasted seaweed sheets does wonder. 

Not only do several flavors like sriracha, avocado, wasabi, olive oil, and, sesame oil make it more appealing but it also is a low-calorie snack to munch on whenever you would want to.

Here is a brief history and making of the tastiest roasted seaweed snacks!  

What Does Seaweed Taste Like in Sushi? 

Nori Seaweed, the red-colored subtype of seaweed used for the classic Japanese Sushi roll is moist and very chewy when rolled on the rice and fish. It retains its distinct salty taste serving as a base for the rest of the flavored sushi. 

The seaweed is rinsed, dried, and, cut into paper-like sheets which absorb the moisture from the rolled-in rice making it soggy and giving it the needed grip. 

Does Seaweed Have a Strong Taste? 

Seaweed has the most prominent taste of briny saltiness giving you a taste of its umami from the very first bite. The taste ranges from a regular marine salt taste to others depending on the mode of preparation and type of seaweed used. 

The apparent strong taste comes from the moist and unflavored seaweed used in many Asian dishes.

Dried and roasted seaweed sheet snacks seem to be more subtle and available with a garnish of other ingredients like olive oil, sesame oil, almonds, and, wasabi. 

Is Seaweed Supposed to be Chewy? 

Seaweed does tend to become chewy when moisture touches it, but not too chewy to be inedible. This could be why your Sushi rolls or avocado rolls seem extra chewy, as the seaweed absorbs the moisture from the rice soon on contact. 

However, roasted or toasted seaweed snacks are not chewy at all; rather crunchy and crisped and are great to snack on.   

What Does fermented Seaweed Taste Like? 

Upon fermentation, Seaweed seems to lose some of its salty, briny, and, umami flavors and looked significantly less visually slimy. 

There was also a reduction in the marine ‘sea smell’ post-fermentation.

There was however no change in its nutrient content or textural difference, thus the seaweed should remain slightly chewy but less intense in taste.

In The End

I hope that this elaborate journey to the land of Seaweed helped you learn about the exact taste of Seaweed and its types. 

I hope to hear more from you upon reading this article. Do keep us posted about any queries or feedback to help this guide move towards its betterment. 

Share this journey with your friends and family to take them along to experience more palettes together with us! 

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About Linda Walker

Linda loves anything creative, whether it be arts and crafts or cooking for her friends and family. She loves nothing more than a good netflix binge, especially thriller ones. She's a bit of a night owl, and is usually up until the early hours of the morning working on her craft projects. She lives with six pets who are all her furry children.