How To Saute Seaweed

Learning to saute seaweed is a crucial step for many common Asian dishes. Seaweed is most frequently available in U.S. markets in packages of thin, dried-out strips, which can pose a cooking challenge for many cooks used to using fresh ingredients (especially since sauteing in general is often viewed as a difficult cooking technique). While dried seaweed can be eaten as-is, it gains exceptional richness from sauteing, and the process is actually quite simple and can be accomplished by even a cooking novice.

To saute seaweed, you will need:

  • 1 pack dried seaweed
  • Medium-sized mixing bowl or pan
  • Strainer
  • Medium frying pan
  • 2 Tbs. light cooking oil or sesame oil
  1. Break the seaweed strips into two-inch pieces and place into the mixing bowl or pan.
  2. Add just enough cool water to cover the seaweed (it will float slightly), and stir to dampen.
  3. Allow the seaweed to soak for twenty minutes.
  4. Strain the seaweed to remove excess water.
  5. Add oil to frying pan, and heat to medium-high.
  6. Add the seaweed to the frying pan and saute for three to five minutes.
  7. Season as desired.

Tips: Be careful not to saute the seaweed for too long, or it can become mushy and lose its flavor. Using sesame oil will add a rich, bright taste to the seaweed while enhancing its natural flavors, but regular cooking oil or light olive oil can be substituted in a pinch. Never use dried seaweed when a recipe calls for sauteing; the flavor and texture will be greatly altered.

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