The Most Popular Edible Seaweed Options

There is more to edible seaweed than kimchi or sushi rolls wrapped in sheets of nori seaweed. However, you might be surprised to learn you can consume it in many ways, as different options and products are available for many palates and needs.

If you love the earthy flavor of seaweed and would like to boost your consumption, you should familiarize yourself with the many varieties of the ocean plant. Keep reading to discover the most popular edible seaweed options.


Wakame, also known as sea mustard, is a brown seaweed often found in shallow coastal waters and kelp forests worldwide. In its natural form, wakame is dark and shriveled but turns a lighter green with a satin texture when soaked in water. It is well-known for its sweet taste and silky texture, ensuring it feels palatable on the tongue, and it’s commonly used in miso soup and seaweed salads.


Nori is one of the most popular types of seaweed, as it is commonly used in sushi. Despite being consumed as sheets to make a California roll, the red seaweed endures many processes before it forms the shape of traditional paper. For instance, nori is washed, shredded, and soaked in freshwater before it’s roasted and pressed into sheets. Once the process is over, nori is sold in packs and often used as sushi roll wraps and rice balls.

Sea Moss

Sea moss is like other seaweed and algae on this list, as the red algae grow across Atlantic coasts and are found between North America and Europe. Known as Chondrus Crispus, most people turn sea moss into a gel to consume directly or apply to their skin and hair. However, some buy sea moss capsules from to enjoy the benefits of the sea vegetable on the go. However, you can add the gel into various dishes for an earthier flavor, as it is great in soups and smoothies.


Kombu is most popular in East Asia and widely used as a soup stock alongside bonito flask, forming the basis of many delicious Japanese dishes, such as ramen and miso soup. Also, many people steep it in water to create kombucha, a Japanese tea; however, it is different from the versions you might pick up in the US or UK. The edible seaweed is commonly found on Japan’s largest island, Hokkaido, but it naturally grows along the Californian coast.

Irish Moss

Irish moss is similar in taste and texture to sea moss, but it tends to grow in cooler waters near Europe, Canada, the United States, and Peru. The red and purple alga is largely comprised of carrageen and used as a thickening agent, which is why it often features in many desserts, such as ice cream and tapioca.


Hijiki is a popular type of seaweed often served alongside fish or added to stir-fries. Despite its brown appearance before being harvested at shorelines across Korea, China, and Japan, it will become black once boiled and dried and resembles thin twigs.