Review: Korean roasted seaweed. Hong Hae Brand, and Surasang/Wang Globalnet brand.

Summary: DELICIOUS, scrumptious, addictive.  Must try!

In the grocery store, I didn’t know what these were exactly, but they looked delicious, so I got a half-dozen of each. Please forgive my ignorance.  Now I cannot live without them.

I also love other varieties of Korean roasted seasoned seaweed, so this looked like a good bet, even though I cannot read Korean and don’t know what the packaging says. The flavoring is distinctly different from the sheets of Korean roasted seaweed I also love.

I was not disappointed, they are both incredibly addicting, and I cannot stop eating them. This is the best thing I have eaten in months. Scrumptious! Probably similar to how some people feel about chocolate, or cheeseburgers.

When I was a kid we had some Pomo friends who lived up the coast from us, and they would harvest seaweed and bring us giant, fully stuffed “lawn and garden” bags full of dried and roasted seaweed. This seaweed from my childhood was probably locally harvested nori.  It was gathered and prepared in the traditional Pomo manner.  I am Acjachemem from Southern California and my tribe traditionally ate seaweed and sea vegetables.  But as a kid, all I cared about was that it was delicious and I loved eating it by the handful, straight out of the giant garbage bag as if it was popcorn. Man, I had really scored! The bag was almost as big as I was! I loved the concept that it could taste so good and yet it “did not have to be farmed and tended, it just arrived on the beach, almost ready to eat.”  I also have a very vivid memory of dashing down the beach at top speed with a large branch of seaweed clamped firmly in my mouth and dragging on the sand behind me.  A very concerned adult was chasing me and yelling to spit it out.  It tasted fine to me and I don’t remember getting sick, but I learned then that a person can’t eat just any seaweed found on the beach.  Leave it to the experts, and you’ll get the best taste.  And stay healthy.  The options below are excellent choices.

Other than high sodium content, seaweed has many wonderful nutrients: phytochemicals, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamins A, E, C, and K. Other studies have shown it to be an excellent blood sugar regulator, helpful at treating diabetes and some even say preventing diabetes. (Reference articles at the end of this post.)

Hong Hae Brand Roasted Seaweed, 70 g.

Appearance: Roasted, seasoned seaweed flakes and clusters, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Taste: DELICIOUS, scrumptious, addictive! If you see it anywhere, you must try it. The flavor is tantalizingly complex and savory, so complex that I cannot identify the flavoring and seasoning on the seaweed, other than sesame oil. Seaweed flakes and clusters are complemented with a delicate sprinkling of sesame seeds. At the bottom of the bag is an oily coating of sesame oil and other tasty ingredients.  Very delicious! Absolute must try!

How to locate: Try an Asian market that carries Korean foods, or contact Hong Hae Food Co., tel. (510) 887-8989

Surasang/Wang Globalnet Brand Seasoned Seaweed (Laver), 85 g. (3 oz.)

Surasang/Wang Globalnet Brand Seasoned Seaweed (Laver), 85 g.  (3 oz.)

“It is good nutrition snack for children and good side dish when having rice or drinking beer.”

Appearance: Roasted, seasoned seaweed flakes and clusters, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Taste: DELICIOUS, scrumptious, addictive! If you see it anywhere, you must try it. The flavor is predominantly sweet, then salty, with sugar the fourth ingredient. This is a nice complex flavor of sweetness combined with the richness of seaweed, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Like the other brand, the seaweed flakes and clusters are complemented by a delicate sprinkling of sesame seeds. YUM! Absolute must try!

How to locate: Try an Asian market that carries Korean foods, or go to Surasang/Wang Globalnet at www.wangfood.com

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Further reading on health benefits and the nutritional content of seaweed in general:

Self Nutrition Data.

Dr. Weil: “Savoring Sea Veggies?

Livestrong’s “What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Seaweed?

Scholarly article: “Effects of seaweed supplementation on blood glucose concentration, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus”  From The National Center for Biotechnology Information website, provided courtesy of Korean Society of Community Nutrition and the Korean Nutrition Society.

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