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What Types of Seaweed Are Edible?

Updated February 08, 2018

Although not all types of seaweed are edible, many varieties are not only edible, but also tasty and nutritious. Seaweed adds flavour to such foods as sushi, soups and stir-fries. The various seaweeds have differing nutritional values, but all are high in antioxidants; vitamins B1, B2, and B12; and iodine.

Kombu

Kombu is a mix of Laminaria seaweed species. Japanese have eaten kombu for centuries. When roasted, kombu tastes like bacon. You can make a tea from dried kombu, or toss it into soups as a flavouring.

Nori

Nori (Porphyra spp.) is one of the most nutritious seaweeds. Nori is often pressed into sheets and used to wrap sushi, and almost 10 billion sheets of nori are processed each year. The sweet, meaty taste of nori works as an accent in soups and salads.

Dulse

Dulse (Palmaria palmate) is harvested in Ireland and east Canada. This red seaweed is slightly salty and spicy, making it great as a snack or for seasoning soups. Dulse has a chewy texture and is often used in stir-fry.

Wakame

Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) has a higher fibre content than some of the other seaweeds. Depending on its processing, it can be either green or brown. Wakame is a flavourful addition to soups, noodles and salads.

Ogonori

Ogonori (Gracilaria spp.) is treated as a raw vegetable. Hawaiians eat ogonori as a salad. Ogonori is sometimes called "sea moss."

Winged Kelp

Winged kelp (Alaria esculenta) is a brown seaweed. Winged kelp, known for its protein, is either cooked or eaten raw. This seaweed grows in cold waters and is not suited to growing commercially.

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About the Author

Drue Tibbits is a writer based in Central Florida, where she attended Florida Southern College. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur and Your Home magazines. She has also been profiled in the Florida Today newspaper and the Writer's Digest magazine. In addition to writing brochure copy for local businesses, she helps new start-up companies develop a local image presence.