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Prized for its oceany umami flavor in sushi and miso soup—and now a popular packaged snack item—nori is dried Japanese seaweed that offers new possibilities for cooks. Its papery texture makes it easy to crisp in the oven and crumble over veggie sides, noodle bowls, and stir-fries for a little briny kick. Or make your own snack: Lightly brush the nori with water, sprinkle with sea salt, and toast in a 250° oven for 15 minutes.
For sure! You should definitely consider eating more seaweed.
Both are delicious options, but that's only scratching the surface. There are thousands of species of seaweed, which is a type of algae, and of those a few dozen seaweeds have taken hold in human cuisines. There's nori, of course, but there's also sea lettuce, dulse, wakame, Irish moss, hijiki, sea spaghetti, and oarweed. Sea plants have been a popular part of diets in many places in the world, particularly places near the ocean—think of Japanese seaweed salad, for instance, or Korean seaweed soup. The gelling properties of algae have also earned seaweed a place in desserts around the world, often in the form of the seaweed extract agar, a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. Irish moss—also called carrageenan moss, and is actually not moss but algae—is what thickens blancmange in Ireland.
That's not all, but yes—seaweed is great for you. I mean, it's a vegetable—of course it's good for you. But seaweed has been described as a "superfood" because of how good it is. Exact amounts vary by type, but ocean plants tend to be rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins, plus minerals like calcium and magnesium. Omega-3s, antioxidants, the whole works. They're high in soluble fiber—which can lower bad cholesterol and make you feel more full as you eat it—and are a good source of vegetable proteins. In fact, a Dutch professor calculated that underwater seaweed cropland roughly the size of Washington State would be enough to satisfy the protein needs of the entire world.
Seaweed is good for the environment, too last year the New Yorker called it "one of the world's most sustainable and nutritious crops." It requires no freshwater—which, we mentioned recently, is becoming increasingly precious as the globe warms and droughts become more frequent. It needs no land or fertilizer. It pulls dissolved carbon from the sea, meaning it actually helps counteract global warming.
In the Netherlands, seaweed advocates have formed the North Sea Farm Foundation, which has undertaken the task of creating seaweed farms off the country's northern coast. They envision it as a sustainable-agriculture project that also benefits the local economy. "It's really the beginning of this whole new way of looking at agriculture," says Lisette Kreischer, a writer and environmental activist who cowrote her new cookbook, Ocean Greens: Explore the World of Edible Seaweed and Sea Vegetables, with foundation chairman Marcel Schuttelaar. "It's sea-griculture, actually."
More than just a book of recipes, Ocean Greens is a helpful introduction to different types of seaweed and how they're grown, sold, and cooked.
Photo by Lisette Kreischer
Well, you could try picking up Ocean Greens. Kreischer, who's based in the Netherlands, became intrigued by seafood after learning about its sustainable potential. Sheɽ previously known it as a primarily Asian ingredient. "I thought, I can't go to the Netherlands and say, 'We all need to eat sushi or we all need to eat Asian soups,'" she told me. Instead she wanted to figure out how seaweed could also be incorporated into Western dishes.
Chef: Francis Mallmann, Los Fuegos, Argentina
His pick: Two punchy, contrasting flavors: a great vinegar, ideally a sherry vinegar from Jerez, Spain (those from the Ximenez-Spinola vineyard are his favorite), and genuine olive oil (Colinas de Garzón from Uruguay is his go-to). "Harmony is a bore, so when we cook we want opposites and contrasts," says Mallmann. "I call them angels and demons it's life trying to teach us balance."
What he's cooking: “I'm making high altitude potatoes boiled to perfection (skin on). Pull them in half with your hands, still smoking, then set them on a large plate before wetting with the best red wine vinegar (the demon) and genuine olive oil (the angel). Sprinkle it with sea salt and abundant coarse pepper before adding anchovies, thinly sliced raw red onions, and lots of fresh basil.”
Starting your own business can feel isolating without a network of women to bounce off ideas, ask questions, and cheer you on along the way. Enter Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week highly-interactive virtual course that brings together top female entrepreneurs to teach you how to build a new business — from business plan to promotion — or grow your existing one.
The best part? Selfmade now provides one-on-one mentoring with successful entrepreneurs who've been where you are right now and who care about making a difference for women in business. They include business owners, founders, VCs, and subject-matter experts in industries such as finance, advertising, marketing, licensing, fashion, and media.
Our summer mentorship program will feature a host of new mentors we're excited to connect you with, including:
Linda Xu, Entrepreneur and E-Commerce Expert
Linda is the co-founder and chief growth officer at Cart.com, a Series-A e-commerce technology platform that partners with brands to help them grow. Linda served as head of growth at Sitari Ventures where she oversaw strategy and operations. She has acquired and advised tech and consumer companies as a private equity investor at global firms including The Riverside Company and Lazard. Additionally, Linda spent a brief stint on the team launching Uber Freight. She loves all things food and plants.
Stephanie Cartin, Social Media Expert + Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur at heart, Stephanie walked away from her corporate career in 2012 to follow her passion to launch Socialfly, a leading social-first digital and influencer marketing agency based in New York City. Socialfly has since blossomed to over 30 full-time employees and has been named to Inc. 5000's fastest growing private companies two years in a row. The agency has worked with over 200 well-known brands including Girl Scouts, WeTV, Conair, Nest Fragrances, 20th Century Fox and Univision. Stephanie is the co-host of the Entreprenista Podcast and co-author of Like, Love, Follow: The Entreprenista's Guide to Using Social Media To Grow Your Business. She is also a recent recipient of the SmartCEO Brava award, which recognizes the top female CEOs in New York and a Stevie Award for Women Run Workplace of the Year.
Kristina Ross, Content Creator + Social Media Whiz
Kristina Makes #Content is a social media ✨funtrepreneur✨, creative strategist, and public speaker for all things Internet related. Four years as a magazine editor and producer/copywriter in the world of advertising (Mercedes, Cancer Research, French Kiss Records), Kristina packed her bags and decided to go remote with social media as she saw a booming industry. Since then, she built @thefabstory from 10k to 1m followers in just 18 months and now specializes in creative strategies behind social media advertising and user acquisition. Her campaigns have levelled apps from the top 50 into #1 in their app store categories overnight. Kristina's work and experiences have been featured in Forbes, Thrive Global and has given several talks at Harvard Business School on the big bad world of #content.
A.V. Perkins, Selfmade Alum and Creator of AVdoeswhat
A.V. is a DIY expert and creator of Avdoeswhat.com. What began as a traditional Do-It-Yourself blog has grown into a lifestyle platform that includes crafts, upcycled furniture and pop culture. As a digital host for HGTV Handmade, along with appearances in Bustle, The Pioneer Woman, and BuzzFeed, A.V. is determined to help thrifty millennials realize "Life is better when you Do-It-Yourself!" A.V. is also the co-creator of University of Dope, an exciting thought-provoking card game that celebrates Hip Hop culture.The first of its kind.
David Mesfin, Creative Director + Brand Expert
David is a multi-disciplinary designer and creative director with award-winning integrated campaign background, including the Super Bowl, FIFA, NFL, and global launch campaign. He has created global partnerships to increase brand awareness through traditional, digital, social, and experimental marketing campaigns, collaborating with C-suite leaders from Genesis, Hyundai, Honda, Sony, Adidas, Oakley, Toyota, Neutrogena, Land more to communicate their company's vision through creative and marketing. He has earned awards from Cannes, One Show, Clio, Webby, EFFIE, Communication Arts, Google Creative Sandbox, OC and LA ADDY, DIGIDAY, TED | Ads Worth Spreading, American Advertising Federation, FWA, The A-List Hollywood Awards, IAB Mixx, and Graphis.
Jasmine Plouffe, Brand Strategist
Jasmin is a brand strategist/graphic designer who helps female entrepreneurs attract their dream customers by sharing their story and taking their branding and graphic design to a whole new level.
Plus, our Selfmade Alum will be there to guide you along the way! Go from feeling alone to feeling deeply connected to a community of like-minded women. Our professional business and career coaches will encourage you to take the next step toward your biz goals via weekly Accountability Pods. Students will have access to a wide community of like-minded entrepreneurs, including experts, founders, future business partners, freelancers, and more.
This summer, Selfmade coaches include Niki Shamdasani, co-founder and CEO of Sani, a South Asian-inspired fashion brand Emily Merrell, founder and chief networking officer of female-focused networking organization Six Degrees Society Dr. Annie Vovan, whose career spans the corporate world, non-profit space, and service-based and e-commerce businesses and Cachet Prescott, a business mindset coach and strategist.
Ready to take your business idea to the next level? Enroll in Selfmade Summer session today!
KANSAS CITY — Americans are seeking the spiciness of Mexico, digging deeper into Japanese flavors and experiencing the complex flair of Moroccan cuisine. A search for ethnic flavors also has people finding food colors that are “Instagram-able.” In some cases consumers are mixing and matching the ethnic flavors of the world.
Millennials, US Latinos, single people and European consumers are exploring new flavors out of curiosity, said Sarah Hickey, senior director, insights and market research for Dawn Foods, Jackson, Mich.
“Millennials are especially interested in exploring Asian and Latino cuisine, with foods like chocolate sesame cake and churro- flavored donuts becoming increasingly popular,” she said.
Hybrid flavors are in style.
“Everything from Japanese milk bread to guava donuts are popping up in grocery markets,” Ms. Hickey said. “Many of these sweets are being promoted as limited-time offers (LTOs) to encourage consumers to try new flavors.”
Bakeries have an opportunity to introduce new flavors blended with traditional favorites. Flavors like coconut and chai may be added to create products like toasted coconut donuts and chai-spiced donut holes, she said.
“Dedicating time to making treats such as cake sushi, churro whoopie pies or even wasabi cupcakes are proving to be effective ways of bringing new taste experiences to customers,” Ms. Hickey said.
Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes contain traditional ingredients while adding ingredients like cinnamon and chili powder. A mojito bismarck donut could combine the flavors of lime, mint and rum in a familiar way.
“Mexican food speaks clearly to the hot and spicy trend that we have been seeing for years and continues to evolve,” said Anna Cheely, chef and senior scientist for Kalsec, Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich. “Foodies know the peppers that are typically used in Mexican and Latin American cuisine, but now they want to experience a different type of heat or understand the characteristics and flavors associated with a specific pepper, such as guajillo, ancho and chile de arbol.”
Citrus also is popular in Mexican cuisine.
“Limes, lemons and oranges are often used in dishes and drinks, and they provide the fresh, bright notes that consumers are searching for,” Ms. Cheely said. “Paired with the heat already present in Mexican dishes, citrus can add that extra twist that consumers crave.”
Heat comes on the other side of the border from a specific domestic source.
“Our Hatch chile line is a certified Hatch chile grown and harvested in New Mexico,” said Claudia Gunawan, application technologist for Sensient Natural Ingredients, a business of Sensient Technologies Corp., and based in Turlock, Calif. “The Hatch chile trend became so big that legislators had to pass a law in 2012 that prohibits the sale of chili peppers with the label ‘New Mexican’ unless they are actually grown and harvested in New Mexico. If not, then they are required to put a disclaimer label of ‘not grown in New Mexico.’”
The Hatch chile, a fresh roasted chile, is known for its earthy flavor, she said. It is popular in soups, stews and sauces.
The Middle East and Asia are two other sources for emerging ethnic flavors.
Ube, a purple yam with a smooth texture and a sweet mild flavor, is “Instagram-able” because of its purple color, said Cathy Armstrong, brand ambassador for Comax Flavors, Melville, NY. Comax Flavors paired it with vanilla to create a natural ube vanilla flavor.
“Other flavors we created from Asian influences included milk tea and Japanese pancake,” she said. “These particular flavors will work in a variety of applications, including baked goods, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), beverage syrups, and ice cream. In addition to be Instagram-worthy, their flavors are mild and sweet.”
People are becoming more adventurous when it comes to Japanese flavors.
“Consumers are familiar with ingredients and flavors like matcha or soy sauce, but they’re digging deeper into flavors unique to Japan,” said Roger Lane, marketing manager at Sensient Flavors, a business of Sensient Technologies Corp., and based in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
He listed togarashi, a spice blend featuring items such as peppers, citrus, seaweed and sesame, and bonito (dried, fermented and smoked tuna flakes).
Morocco is making its move in global ethnic flavors.
“Inspirational cuisines from North Africa and Morocco with an array of bold ingredients and flavors provide a complex flair to menu items for younger consumers who are looking outside the typical ethnic realm of Chinese, Japanese or Italian,” said Doug Resh, director, commercial marketing for T. Hasegawa, which has a US office in Cerritos, Calif.
Moroccan flavors such as harissa, chermoula, kefta and ras el hanout stand out. Dishes like b’stilla, pastilla and jben show growth potential in the United States.
“A few common spices in ras el hanout include cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, anise, cinnamon, ginger, chili pepper and turmeric, although there are many, many more that can be incorporated,” Mr. Resh said.
A Moroccan savory pastry (pastilla) may be filled with chicken confit, spiced almonds and caramelized onions. Shakshuka, which is popular in Morocco, combines eggs, tomatoes, spices and herbs, although different variations also may include North African/Moroccan meats such as merguez sausage.
“The star potential of cardamom is finally making headway in menu items such as baked goods, coffee, cocktails, savory dishes and desserts,” he said. “Cardamom is aromatic, earthy and citrusy, which adds depth to the dish or beverages. Vietnamese pho, Chinese five-spice and Indian garam masala are among the most well-known dishes with cardamoms ability to bring balance to both heat and sweet.”
McCormick For Chefs, a division of McCormick & Co., Hunt Valley, Md., has launched five culinary blends to help foodservice operators incorporate trending flavors from around the world. They are pre-blended to ensure consistent flavor and reduce labor costs.
Harissa seasoning, a blend of hot chiles, warm spices and mint, is popular in African and Middle Eastern cooking. McCormick & Co. cites Datassential data from 2019 showing harissa growing 70% in total over the next four years. Harissa may be added to meat and vegetables before grilling, stirred into cooked rice and grains, or mixed into yogurt, ketchup or mayonnaise for dips.
Japanese seven spice, also known as shichimi togarashi, is a combination of seven spices, including chiles, sesame seeds and nori. It may be used with bone broth, traditional miso and ramen soups, grilled meats, seafood and stir-fry. Datassential forecasts a Japanese seven spice growing 74% in total over the next four years.
Moroccan seasoning, sometimes referred to as ras el hanout, is a mix of cinnamon, cumin, black and red peppers, and turmeric. It may be combined with vegetables, season-grilled chicken or shrimp, or it may be added to chicken and lamb stews, kabobs and couscous. Datassential forecasts Moroccan seasoning growing 180% over four years.
Peruvian seasoning is a blend of chile pepper, paprika and cumin. It brings savory South American heat to recipes and may be paired with lamb, chicken, plantains and roasted vegetables. It also may be used to create a signature house-made dipping sauce. Datassential sees Peruvian seasoning growing 68% over the next four years.
Za’atar seasoning, a combination of “herby” and “citrusy” flavors, often is used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It may be used on beef, chicken, lamb and roasted vegetables, and it may be sprinkled on appetizers like hummus or flatbread. Datassential forecasts za’tar growing 342% over the next four years.
“Our McCormick Flavor Forecast allows us to keep a pulse on up-and-coming flavor trends so we can empower operators to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on evolving consumer preferences,” said Gary Patterson, executive research chef and senior director of culinary at McCormick For Chefs. “With these new blends, we selected flavors approaching more familiarity to help operators tap into global flavors that will be successful. Chefs wanting to explore new ethnic foods can use these blends to experiment and develop new menu items grounded in authentic flavor profiles.”
Betsy’s first book is a celebration of the seasons, featuring a wide range of accessible and elegant vegan recipes for the home cook. Spanning regional American favorites and global cuisines, these 175 recipes and 8 pages of color photos feature all the essential goodness that fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs bring to your table, all year ‘round.
Available on Amazon. Cheers and thank you for your support! What’s “The Platter”? The Blooming Platter offers a growing collection of recipes for creative appetizers, beverages, snacks, soups, salads, sides and entrees with a tendency toward ethnic fusion dishes, lightened-up comfort foods and updated classics with a twist. A baker since childhood, I also include a burgeoning selection of dessert recipes that will tempt even the staunchest dairy-lover. Here's to compassionate plant-based cooking and eating!
Betsy DiJulio About Betsy DiJulio When Betsy—an award-winning art teacher and practicing artist—is not teaching, making art, reading, writing, or walking her new dogs, Patsy and Urban, she can often be found in downward dog on her yoga mat.
And after that? A little food, a little more wine, and a lot of communing with friends, family, and students (well, no wine for her students).
In addition to authoring The Blooming Platter Cookbook, Betsy is a regular contributor, columnist, or featured writer for:
- Coastal Virginia Magazine
- The Virginian-Pilot
Look for the occasional link here on her website.
Besides art and cooking, Betsy admits to being a little obsessed with:
-Anything eco- or animal-friendly
-Artisanal and small business ventures
-Design in its many forms, especially interiors and landscapes
A four-ingredient sushi which is a great go-to for any summer soiree – effortless and impressive!
Boil the sushi rice until tender.
Rinse the rice in cold water, allow to cool and then refrigerate for an hour. Once cooled, stir in the mayo.
Pat down a line of rice lengthways along the nori sheet about one third of the way in.
Place your filling lengthways on top of the rice all the way down the nori sheet (following the pattern of the rice).
Pat down another layer of rice on top of the filling, replicating the original line of rice.
Roll the nori sheet over the filling and rice and wrap around tightly into a roll.
Chop into sections and serve with wasabi and soy sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Roxy Shahidi
“I love this light little recipe. It’s simple, quick and delicious. You can use an endless list of veg – some of my favourites are cucumber, avocado and carrot.
I am a truly reluctant chef, I don’t really enjoy cooking or preparing food – it’s the serving and eating that excites me! So my four-ingredient sushi is a great go-to for any summer soiree – effortless and impressive.”
Japanese cuisine is world-renowned for it's highly skilled preparation methods and unique and refined presentation. Unlike many other types of Asian cuisines, Japanese do not rely on herbs and spice blends to season their dishes. Each ingredient is carefully selected and kept in harmony with it's own individual flavor. A traditional Japanese diet has high fiber content, and is low in calories and cholesterol. rice is the main starch and is present in almost every Japanese meal. udon and soba Noodles (hot or cold with many different types of accompaniments and dressings) is an important staple. Fish, Soya bean products, beans, seaweeds, vegetables, and fruit is an ever-present force in Japanese cuisine. Teriyaki, Tempura and Yakitori, (steamed, deep-fried, broiled and one-pot dishes), fill out a large of Japanese cuisine. Meals are generally taken three times a day and courses are not bothered with, as a simultaneous presentation is preferred. Tableware is carefully selected. Plates may be odd in shape and made of decorated lacquer or pottery. The size and shape of the dish must perfectly suit the food that is about to be served on it. Wooden chopsticks complete the plate. Another interesting thing about Japanese cuisine is how the environment just seems to melt into every dish. Even the outdoors is carefully represented. A Japanese chef may place a spray of pine needles or a leaf on your plate in accordance with the seasons. The key to understanding Japanese cuisine however is to realize the important role that seafood plays in a typical Japanese diet. Here Sushi and its cousin Sashimi come to mind. After all it is loved the world over and is the stamp for Japanese cuisine. Sushi can be defined as a dish, which contains sushi rice and cooked rice that is prepared with sushi vinegar, and it may contain cooked or uncooked fish. Sashimi consists of the fine cuts of fish and seafood (usually raw) except in cases of eel and sometimes Octopus which is prepared in combination with a lightly vinegered rice accompanied by daikon. Both are dipped in a Wasabi (green Japanese horseradish), Pickled ginger, and soy sauce combined or left separate. Sake (brewed rice wine) goes fantastically with a sushi meal and generally it is served warm. Finally no Japanese meal can be complete without a cup of green tea! Served before, during, or after a meal it is cleansing to the body, palate, and soul. At the heels of This culinary Japanese art form. So many of us have found a Healthy, eye-pleasing, and simple way of eating.
Map of Japan - Click to enlarge
When I was in Mexico I tried a few variations of vegan ceviche. There, heart of palm was a popular ingredient, but I’ve struggled to find it back here in Australia. Having seen some fun poke bowl recipes using watermelon, I decided to add some to my ceviche, which makes it fresh, summery and zesty! This recipe also has similar ingredients to a watermelon gazpacho.
When it comes to handy on-the-go brekkies, a good toastie is unbeatable. I love the combination of baked pumpkin and creamy hot avocado sandwiched between two pieces of deliciously crunchy sourdough bread. The pesto also gives this toastie a big flavour hit.
Inspired by my travels to South Korea, this spicy, salty and warming noodle soup will knock your socks off! Of course, if spice isn’t your thing, no worries, just leave out the fiery sauce.
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Gently sweat the onions in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the peas and sauté until just cooked. Using a stick blender, purée the peas with the mint and sour cream until blended (does
not have to be completely smooth). Season with salt and pepper.
Deep-fried Fish Springrolls (Click HERE to view how)
Cut the nori sheets in half so that you have 4 pieces. (If you are using blanched spinach instead of nori, cut 4 pieces from blanched spinach leaves).
Cut the fish into 12 cm long pieces about 2.5-3 cm thick, season with salt and pepper. Divide the fish into four portions – each portion should have 3-4 pieces.
Step 1: Place a sheet of spring-roll pastry on a clean surface in a diamond shape.
Step 2: Place 3-4 pieces of fish (dependant on size) one third of the way up from the bottom corner. (2a). Lay a sheet of nori (or spinach) on top of the fish (2b) following the same diamond shape and interweave between the pieces of fish.
Step 3: Fold the bottom corner of pastry over the fish. Wrap and tuck tight.
Step 4: Fold the two sides of the pastry in to close.
Step 5: Egg wash the top corner of the pastry square, fold down and wrap tightly to form a cylinder. Repeat with all four sheets of pastry.
Heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan or deep fryer until it reaches frying temperature. Deep-fry the springrolls until golden brown and cooked through.
Peel the potatoes and cut into sticks approximately 0.75 cm x 7.5 cm in size. Place in a saucepan of cold water and place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring up to the boil, at this point the potatoes should be almost be cooked, but must not fall apart.
Strain the water, pat dry and leave until completely dry and cold. Heat the oil to 130 °C in a deep fryer or a deep sided saucepan. Fry potato chips for about 3-4 minutes (fry with no colour).
Remove the chips from the oil and place into a colander to drain the excess oil. Allow the chips to cool completely.