What Does Seaweed Taste Like?

What does seaweed taste like? Salt minerals characterize fresh seaweed and umami (meaty) tastes. Many people also notice the smoky, spicy flavor in the ocean. It’s a very delicious ingredient, versatile in how you use it. It’s not as slimy, fishy, gooey, or squishy as most people imagine it!

Seaweed is a highly under-appreciated ingredient, especially fresh seaweed. Most people don’t want to give it a try. But, you’ll be surprised to discover that it’s not the way you thought!

Are you willing to take a look at everything seaweed? Its flavor and how it alters as it cooks, along with its texture and the smell it emits. We’ll also discuss how to cook and add flavor to your seaweed and turn it into a delicious dish!

What Is Seaweed?

A lot of people have a number of misconceptions regarding seaweed. Today, we’re going to make it clear! However, first, you have to be aware of what seaweed actually is.

When people think of seaweed the first thing they imagine is a long slimy string of forest kelp that can be found wrapped around your leg whenever you swim in the sea.

It’s not wrong however, seaweed is much more than it appears!

“Seaweed” or “seaweed” refers to thousands of species of marine plants. They range in size, from microscopic to large forest kelp. They are available in a variety of forms and textures, and come in a variety of designs.

Naturally, given that they’re the equivalent to the ocean of terrestrial leafy greens They all have totally different flavors too!

It was initially utilized in East Asian countries. However, other coastal areas soon began adding it to their food after they realized that it was suitable for consumption.

This covers areas such as South Africa, Scotland, Hawaii, Ireland, Chile and Scandinavia which is a bit shocking, we know!

Type of Seaweed

Today, seaweed is typically sold in two types.

The most popular most commonly used dried seaweed often referred to as nori. It is available as roll-ons as well as square sheets.

Nori is the green coating used in the making of sushi. It can also be found into sushi bowls and used to make donuts made from sushi.

This kind of seaweed has at times been accepted in a variety of food items. It has the extremely neutral taste and doesn’t have a fishy taste or fishy at all. It also has an extremely fresh texture due to its thin wafer-like thickness.

You then are able to get freshly harvested seaweed This type of seaweed is unnoticed by the majority of people. The only place where you can see it are coastal cities that utilize it in their restaurants and specialty shops or when you know who.

Naturally, since this is a totally unfamiliar ingredient to the majority people, it is prone to a few huge misconceptions regarding it. This includes how it is like to taste, its scent and texture.

The fresh seaweed of the ocean is what we’ll be talking about today. It’s surprisingly adaptable it can be used with all kinds of different flavors and is extremely healthy. Let’s dive into it!

Does Seaweed Smell Funny?

Seaweed can smell like what the taste of. It is a strong sea scent that could very quickly change to bad. The smell can range from mild, and sometimes even salty to an decaying egg in a matter of hours.

If you do buy seaweed that smells bad, it might not mean that it’s been rotten – often it’s simply the smell. There are a few ways to eliminate the smell!

Some sellers treat the seaweed before they sell it, to eliminate the smell of fish. If they didn’t then you could make it yourself at your home.

All you need to do is mix rice flour, gum Arabic powder, and vinegar. There are numerous tutorials online to aid you in the process.

What Does Seaweed Taste Like?

Many aren’t willing to try fresh seaweedSome have even declined our invitation to sample some. But, those who did were all delighted!

Again, we need to stress that different kinds of seaweed will taste exactly the identical.

It’s all about your personal preference similar to how you might not like chocolate ice-cream but you’re in love in strawberry ice-cream.

Seaweeds have a distinct salty taste. This is logical since it originates from the ocean’s salt! Many claim it is like brine in taste.

It is also common to get intense mineral flavors . This is perhaps the most noticeable taste you’ll get.

In addition, many types of seaweed have the umami taste. What does umami mean?

It can be similar to the flavors of cooked meat or a broth, mushrooms and aged or fermented ingredients. It’s one of five flavors that include bitter, sweet, sour and salty.

To summarize the typical flavors you’ll taste in the majority of seaweed are salty, brine-like intense mineral flavors, as well as an umami-like flavor profile.

In addition, depending on the kind of seaweed you’re eating there may be an underlying hot taste. It’s not similar to horseradish, chili (and wasabi). It’s rather unique similar to an onion.

Onions don’t have a strong flavor however they can cause a feeling of tingling. Certain kinds of seaweed can have the same effect!

Then, of course due to it being a plant species which is an herb, it has a herbal flavor character. Imagine it as boiled spinach that’s been salted too much It has a nice flavor , but it is usually overwhelmed by salt, anyway.

Does Seaweed Taste Fishy?

We thought it was an odd question. Have you ever tasted some seafood that does not taste anything like ocean?

Seaweed may be fishy tasting however, it won’t taste like fish.

It has the same salty, ocean-like flavor like fish. However, it’s not a fish, so it will not be as meaty. It has the umami taste and aroma, but that’s about it.

How Does The Cooking Method Change The Flavor?

Cooking can have a huge impact on the taste of seaweed. Certain methods alter the taste completely!

In the event that you grill seaweed the sweet taste of the ingredient will intensify. You will be left with distinct sweet taste and the ocean-like saltiness.

Seaweed roasting can also create an ominous undertone that might detect. It’s a lot like bacon that has been smoked, but much more plant-based.

If you cook seaweed using the oven or smoker that is smoky, then the flavor will be more strong. The seaweed we once had smoked was mistaken as smoked salted pork! It’s how meaty it could taste.

However, if you just simmer your seaweed with water, then you will not be able to tell the different from the fresh seaweed.

The Texture Of Seaweed

The specific texture of seaweed is dependent on the kind you’re using. As we’ve already mentioned you can find many thousands of different kinds of seaweed.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular choices currently available.

Wakame for instance, Wakame is one of the dried seaweed which needs to be rehydrated before it is able to be utilized. Once it’s been prepared it has a smooth texture and is fairly thin, which means it’s not too chewy.

It is true that Kombu is extremely thick and soft seaweed which is extremely chewy. The seaweed is dried and is sold in packaging. It is also required to be rehydrated in order to be utilized.

Also, you get the seaweed-based grapes that are extremely distinctive. It can be described as an edible seaweed that resembles small and elongated grape clusters. Naturally, they will be similar in consistency to caviar or roe, however, they are considerably smaller.

The seaweed’s appearance is going to determine the way it is employed.

Kombu is mainly used in broths, stews or soups (anywhere it is possible to remove of the fluid) and wakame is commonly used in salads of seaweed because it’s simple to eat.

Texture Of Cooked Seaweed

The texture of the cooked seaweed will be largely dependent on the cooking method employed.

If you have deep-fried the seaweed, it’s going to develop a crispy and crunch texture. But if you boil the seaweed, it’s likely to remain a bit hard and chewy (again in accordance with the kind of seaweed you’re using).

Roasted seaweed is a mix of both, particularly bigger and more dense seaweed pieces. The smaller pieces of the plant are likely to crisp up when baked, while the more dense pieces will remain soft.

Preparation And Cooking Methods For Seaweed

There’s not much to accomplish to make seaweed.

If you own freshly caught seaweed At the very least, you can wash it with pure water.

If you purchased dried seaweed which needs being reconstituted you’ll have to soak it prior to doing so.

Typically, you will need to place dried seaweed under the warm waters until it softens again. Be sure you follow the directions on the package to get the most precise instructions.

In the present, when you are cooking seaweed, there are a variety of options.

In reality, many types of seaweed do not need to be cooked in any way It is possible to add them to your soup, casserole or stew and allow them to sit for several minutes. They will soften somewhat, but, once they are cooked it is time to consume.

In order to ensure we’re up to date Here are some ideas on how you can cook and utilize different types of seaweed!


When we refer to seaweed that has been boiled is not just to boiling the seaweed in water (you are able to). To enhance the flavor of seaweed, we recommend cooking it with a well-seasoned liquid or broth. This means you can create a stew or soup If you’d like.


Fresh seaweed can be pan-fried at either a low or high temperatures.

A low heat can let it slowly melt and soften. It’s a fantastic method of blending the flavor of ingredients with one another. If you cook seaweed on high heat, a portion but not the entire portion, will begin to crisp up and turn into a crunchy.

Select the kind of seaweed you’ll use in this technique with care. If it’s not thick enough it will get hard on the outside, but remain a bit in a rubbery state within.


Deep-fried seaweed is a well-known cooking method that is exclusively used to cook diverse types of seaweed. It is suitable for all kinds of seaweed, whether thick or thin.

It is important to dry the seaweed’s surface in a proper manner to eliminate any excess water when the water comes in contact with hot oil, it could splatter, and cause injury.


There are two reasons to need to cook seaweed: to make it crisper or to cook it in the manner of roasting vegetables.

If you are frying fresh seaweed in the oven, be sure that it’s not too thick. If so, you’ll end up burning it before the entire piece has dried out.

However, for roasting seaweed (as an appetizer) it is possible to use incredibly thick kelp or something similar. It is also possible to season it with spices!

Best Flavors With Seaweed

Seaweed is, without doubt, an additional than a salty, more fishy ingredient (remember that it comes from the ocean) It is well when paired with different sea-based dishes.

If you’re looking to go beyond this, pair seaweed with ingredients that work well with seafood.

Keep in mind that different types of seaweeds have distinct flavors So the combination may not be suitable for every one of them.

Let’s look at some of the most typical seaweed flavor combinations to use in your food preparation!

In terms of fruit seaweed goes well with peaches, apricots and raspberries, and, occasionally, citrus fruits. Seaweed is also a great match for sweet and sweet avocado and tomatillos.

Any vegetable with the same hot taste as well as an umami flavor can make an excellent combination. That’s what we mean by radishes, scallions as well as some red onions (for the spice).

For umami-like tastes You can choose to use many mushrooms however, Shiitake mushroom are a great match. Cucumbers carrots as well as daikon are great pairings with nearly every seafood.

We then move on to the legumes, spices and herbs. If you are looking for legumes the tempeh, tofu, edamameand sugar snappeas along with beans sprouts are all excellent options.

When it comes to spices or spices There aren’t many alternatives due to the distinct taste that seaweed already offers. This doesn’t mean that any herb or spice tastes better with seaweed however, there’s no specific one that stands out.

Ginger and garlic are one of the “best” choices. Other complementary flavors you can incorporate into seafood dishes include Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar miso paste, sesame oil mayonnaise, sriracha Kimchi along with wasabi.

Also, most types of Asian noodles and rice be delicious when paired with seaweed. Ramen as well as rice noodles are among the top alternatives.

Other Questions Asked

After we’ve explained the different ways seaweed appears, feels, and tastes as there is different ways to prepare and cook it! Let’s take a look at some other questions you may have.

Is seaweed healthful or healthy?

Most people don’t realize the incredible amount of nutrients all kinds of seaweed can be!

They’re loaded with antioxidants and are usually high in vitamins A B12 C and E. They’re not loaded with sugar, fat or fiber. In addition, they’re generally low in calories, given that they won’t be drinking cups of food at one time.

The only thing you need to look for in eating seaweed is making sure that you aren’t taking in excessive amounts of iodine. This can impact your thyroid health.

Seaweed is also high in potassium, which can affect medicines for treating kidney problems.

Do you conserve seaweed?

Seaweed that is dry can be kept within an airtight container in an area that is cool and dry. It’s not necessary to store it in the refrigerator.

But, fresh seaweed needs to be preserved in saltwater for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. If you leave it longer, the texture begins to deteriorate.

How can you tell when the seaweed is bad?

Seaweed will turn discolored once it begins getting rotten. It can change into a yellowish-brown hue. It also loses flavor and becomes more slimy. Then, it begins to smell like eggs that have been rotten or sulfurates.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.