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I buy Tao Kae Noi original crispy seaweed from the asian section in my university student union shop for snacking on campus, but you can also just buy toasted Nori sheets (for sushi) from regular supermarkets and eat that out of the packet. No preparation required. Very good as a salty snack when wrestling with biochemistry problems.
You can buy other dried stuff that needs soaking too, all sorts, I think you just rehydrate by pouring over hot water and leaving to soak, then drain and chuck it in soup and stirfries, but you can just crumble those nori sheets over soup and stirfries too. I'm lazy
Here are some of our family favorites (all come from any Asian grocer):
wakame - we buy it dehydrated and chopped in bags. A sprinkle goes in at the dinner table in clear broth based soups (or cups of just clear, flavorful broth), only takes a minute to uncurl and warm in piping hot broth. Deeeep green (one of my favorite colors) and curled up.
toasted, seasoned nori sheets - my kids eat these like candy. they recently turned to just toasted nori sheets because there wasn't any seasoned in the house and ate those up. Black, crinkly sheets close to the size of printer paper. There are toasted, seasoned nori snacks that are cut into much smaller, uniform pieces and individually wrapped but these are much more expensive than just a big 'ole package destined for sushi wrapping
nori komi furikake - a sesame seed and nori seaweed seasoned food sprinkle in a glass jar that is salty and yummy
kombu - long, thick slate-green seaweed strip sometimes to be found cut into sections instead of 8-inch-long or so pieces. We used this as an addition to bean soup, right in the pot with the beans and water at the beginning. It usually dissolves completely. I know beans ain't Primal, but you might be transitioning, or have others to feed like I do who aren't Primal
seaweed salad - get this fresh from any sushi vendor or ask for their fresh salad from the asian grocer. translucent, various shades of green. I am addicted to this salad!! My grocer makes it with a little more hot pepper flake than the sushi vendors, just in case you are sensitive to heat and need to know that it varies
I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC
One of my favorite (relatively) quick dishes is a hijiki-wakame salad.
Soak about 2 tbsp of each (combined) in about 1.5 cups of boiled water for 10-15 min. Strain off excess water, and season with apple cider vinegar, soy sauce/tamari, fresh grated ginger, and maybe a bit of black pepper or cayenne if the mood strikes.
You can also stir-fry soaked hijiki with leafy greens (such as beet greens, spinach, chard, etc), along with some minced garlic and ginger (salted to taste, of course).
aaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh i am about to have a taxonomy fit at all of you!
nb for all interested: all "seaweed" is algae (and not all algae is seaweed). seaweed, while having photosynthesizing pigments, is not a plant. algae includes everything everyone talks about, including nori, wakame, ulva, kelps, etc., BUT NOT samphire. why? because the term "seaweed" does not include actual plants, e.g. higher plants, e.g. the separate kingdom of land-adapted, vascularized, and far more tissue-diversified taxa like trees and grass. thus, samphire, salt pickle, salt wort, and other more planty things that stand up on their own out of water along the shoreline are not seaweed, and neither are seagrasses (which are grass taxa which have re-invaded the sea after kabillions of years of land-based adaptation).
sorry, the inaccuracies were killing me.
re cooking- if you have access to cold shoreline, it's quite nice to go get fresh, and then rinse well (perhaps even soak for awhile) in fresh water, to clean and remove salt, and prepare as follows depending on genus (species will vary locally):
Enteromorpha (i don't know that it has a good common name but: http://eol.org/pages/9553/overview), rinse it in fresh water, and deep flash fry it in coconut oil. or rinse it and toss it with sesame oil and seeds. (and i've been meaning to hunt around about that whether sesame is primal-friendly - i bet someone tells me after this post!)
Various kelps (whatever species is/are local to your area should be okay - I like sugar kelp, or Laminaria saccharina, but many of the thinner-fronded kelps will be fine), toss it in oil and seasonings of your choice, and cut into chips; either use a dehydrator or a low oven like you would for kelp chips. If it's a thicker kelp, you can dice and stir fry it with other things, although it goes a bit gel/gummy, sort of like cactus. i don't really mind that though. i used to make a nice risotto with it, back in the day; now i'd probably go for it in a japanese-themed cauliflower mash. You can also buy kelp noodles, which I haven't tried yet, but I definitely plan to, as sometimes slimy noodles in broth are something I miss from time to time. Finally, I've seen kelp smoke-dried in Scotland and used sort of like a strong-flavoured vegetable in soup, but I've not tried it myself.
Nori, a.k.a. Porphyra - salads, baked lightly into sheets for snacks, wrapped around veggies.
Irish moss, or Chondrus, can be turned into a jelly or pudding like here: Untitled Document, and it will take a variety of flavours (since we're skipping the sugar).
haha i just meant not tropical. macroalgae is tougher to find in tropical/subtropical areas, but if you're in temperate/subpolar, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding macroalgae. doesn't have to be actually COLD cold, just not like, at a coral reef.
(this is awesome, a marine biology primal thread!)
oh and cheers, spughy - nah i rarely deep fry, and if i were doing Enteromorpha it's a very quick in-and-out in coconut oil (it goes in, it crisps, it comes out, that fast)