What Does Seaweed Taste Like

What Does Seaweed Taste Like? Your Complete Guide

Did you ever hear of seaweed? Are you or are you not familiar with it? How does it taste? Everyone has a different taste, so it might not be too enticing to some, but we promise you: once you discover how it tastes and its health benefits, you will love it for the rest of your life!

Seaweed is an aquatic plant known as algae. The edible types are also called sea vegetables. The gulfweed is famous in Asian cuisine, especially in Japan, China, and Korea. Nowadays, seaweeds are becoming more popular worldwide as healthy foods.

Are you ready to know what seaweed tastes like? 

What Does Seaweed Taste Like  ?


Does seaweed taste good?

It is heavily salty with an ocean-like flavor but resembles more the umami taste. The umami generally resembles the taste of MSG (monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer).

Seaweed is rich in iodine, so most species are salty (briny or minerally sea taste) and earthy in tang. There are more than 12,000 species of seaweed in the ocean, and as you know, seawater is salty. Other species thrive in rivers, streams, and other bodies of water, but they also have a saline taste. Hence, more varieties taste like seawater (salty and with mineral flavor).

Some of the most popular seaweed species in Asian cuisine are the Dulse, Nori, Wakame, Kombu, and Irish moss.

Although the taste of seaweed revolves around the salty flavor: some people argue that other species taste like bacon, spinach, fish, and other savors. So, yeah! Seaweed really tastes good!

We will tackle the various seaweed tastes later.

What Does Seaweed Smell Like?

So, all seaweeds have a salty taste. How about their smell? Most seaweed species are in the ocean, and some people associate the scent with fish. But this may be true or not in some seaweed species. It is known in the scientific world that fish and seaweed contain trimethylamine, a gaseous chemical with a fishy scent.

It is not surprising some varieties taste like fish and smell like fish. The sargassum, however, a brown seaweed species that thrive in Florida: smells like rotten eggs when it reaches land.

What Tastes are Similar to Seaweed?

At Oregon State University, aqua culturists are developing seaweed as a specialty food. They consider seaweed as an alga and one of the protein sources on earth. The most intriguing about their study is that the Dulse seaweed tastes like bacon. They also call it the ‘bacon of the sea’.

Some smoked versions of seaweed also taste like bacon, but the Dulse stands out with a bacon-like taste when cooked.

In Japan, many chefs use the Wakame (or sea mustard) seaweed because of its similarity to umami taste. Besides Wakame, the other seaweeds with a taste akin to umami are the Kombu or kelp varieties. The high glutamate content of seaweeds makes them suitable as umami taste enhancers.

Is Seaweed Good for You?

Many nutritionists swear that seaweed has low calories but is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Most of its antioxidants come in supplement forms such as vitamins A, C, and E.

The high iodine content of most seaweed makes them suitable for people suffering from hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Seaweed is also a good source of protein and fiber that improve gut health and boost metabolism.

The Seaweed Texture

Various seaweeds have different textures: Most have distinct crunch with a threadlike (fibrous) texture. The feel and texture of seaweed depend on class or species. But most varieties of seaweed are smooth to the touch with a silky consistency.

The Irish moss is typically used as a thickening agent, while the Wakame tastes sweet. The Hijiki variety, on the other hand, is crispy and crunchy when stir-fried.

Is Seaweed Taste Fish-like? 

Many people say that seaweed tastes like fish. But in general, it may not be applicable. Seaweed found in the ocean may not necessarily taste like fish. Seaweed is usually served with fish as the main or side dish: It creates a perception that both have the same taste.

What do Seaweed Snacks Taste Like? 

The Annie Chun’s Organic Seaweed Snack comes in various flavors like Wasabi, Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Vinegar, and Sesame. Although the brand does not say what type of seaweed it uses, many believe it is Nori seaweed.

Since seaweed is mostly salty, the snacks (many toasted in sheets) from manufacturers vary in taste, depending on flavor. The wide-ranging flavor varies from teriyaki to Wasabi. Toasted seaweed has unusual flavors mixed with other seasonings such as jalapeño, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, and almonds.

Is Dried Seaweed Taste Fine? 

It is tastier when seaweed comes dried or toasted. Many veggie fanatics or seaweed lovers prefer thin and dried because of their salty, rich, and savory flavor. If you have non-salty dishes like soup and vegetable salad, crushed or dried seaweed is terrific as toppings.

What Does Roasted Seaweed Taste Like? 

Roasted Seaweed

Even roasted seaweed retains its original taste but adds some flavor depending on how roasting is done. Roasted seaweed has a fine-drawn but more distinct taste dominating briny and salty relish.

If you want roasted seaweed as your regular snack, try to flavor it with sriracha, olive oil, avocado, or Wasabi. These flavors are not only more enticing to look at: they also have low-calorie ideal for a weight loss diet.

Here’s a video on how to toast Nori seaweed sheets in an oven toaster:

What Does Seaweed Taste Like in Sushi? 

Sushi is a Japanese dish with raw fish, rice (with vinegar), and other seafood and veggies in a roll. The Nori seaweed variety is mostly what goes with sushi. The damp and chewy flavor of Nori makes sushi more flavorful and delicious.

The Nori is rinsed, dried, and cut into thin slices before putting in the sushi. The seaweed retains its salty taste when mixed with the rolled rice.

Is Seaweed Supposed To Be Chewy? 

Dried seaweed becomes chewy when moistened after being blended in sushi and other damped rolls. The seaweed sucks up the moisture from the hot rice in sushi to make it extra chewy.

But roasted or toasted seaweed is not chewy. Instead, it becomes crispy with a salty and mineral-like taste.

What Does Ferment Seaweed Taste Like? 

Fermented seaweed slightly loses its salty taste: It also tends to lose some of its umami and briny flavors once fermented. The fermentation process makes the seaweed more acidic and has a sour taste.

The smell also differs compared to the un-fermented variety. But the nutrients it contains will not change. However, the texture may become slightly chewy with a less profound taste.

Can Vegans Eat Seaweed?

Yes, they can eat seaweed because it is a vegetable. Seaweed does not contain any animal product, even fish. But the choice depends upon the person. Aside from iodine, seaweed also contains soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin B-12 crucial in health.

The red seaweed, such as Dulse, is high in protein and other nutrients that veggies need.

Can You Eat Seaweed Every Day?

Many people include seaweed in their everyday diet. There is nothing wrong when you eat seaweed every day. Many studies suggest that when you cannot eat seaweed daily, try doing it regularly.

How To Tell if Seaweed Has Gone Bad

Like any food in our kitchen, seaweeds give signs that they are not edible anymore. When you find mildew or mold, it is not fit to eat already. Dried seaweed may get moldy after a few days when let out of the fridge if moisture gets into it.

Serving Tips And Tricks For seaweed

Here are some great ways to serve seaweed:

  • Intensify your smoothies with spirulina (powdered seaweed).
  • Top each meal with seaweed flakes.
  • Mix Kombu (kelp) with broth, stews, and soups.
  • Sprinkle powdered seaweed into salad dressing.
  • Prepare your beans with Kombu.
  • Garnish taste-less dry food with sweet seaweed like Wakame.


1. Does seaweed taste like spinach? 

Other people compared the taste of seaweed to spinach, especially the heavily boiled and salted green ones.

2. Does Seaweed Have a Strong Taste? 

The taste of seaweed may be strong for some: especially those not used to it. There is no bitter taste in most seaweed either. But once you are used to its strong flavor, you can admire its yumminess and saltiness.


Almost all seaweeds may have a saline taste, but not all have the same flavor. Beside crucial vitamins and minerals: seaweed also contains potassium, folate, magnesium, and calcium. It also has low-calorie content. It makes the sea vegetable a perfect everyday meal or a side dish without making you fat or chubby.

But what does seaweed taste like? The sea-salty taste may not conform to other discriminating tongues: but there are always ways you can do to make the taste appropriately conducive to yours.

Gerry Bugas
My name is Gerry Bugas. I am a Co-Founder and COO of Pluto's. I graduated from Cornell University, a school dedicated to researching solutions that improve people’s lives. Over the past 15 years, I have worked in the restaurant industry and have gained an expertise in kitchen equipment and products. Currently, I am the main owner of a website that specializes in evaluating kitchen equipment so that people can shop for the best product for their needs.You can follow me Pinterest-Linkedin.