Healthy Seaweed Soup

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Healthy seaweed soup

Healthy seaweed soup

A healthy soup to start the year….Seaweed Soup. I remember eating lots of this when I was growing up. My mom cooked it very often. She said that seaweed contains iodine and eating it often will help the thyroid glands to function well. She would often show us people who suffer from goitre and we would be so frightened we would drink lots of this soup, together with the seaweed, too. I have seen people (more women and men) with huge goitre….that big growth in front of the neck. Some have big bulging eyes.

Dry seaweed

Dry seaweed

Seaweed For Thyroid Health

Seaweed, as the name implies, is vegetable from the sea. It comes in many forms with different names. I often buy wakame here because it’s very easy and simple to cook but I also like this long type (shown above)) that my mom cooked for us. Seaweed is highly nutritious as it contains all the important minerals and also some important vitamins that our bodies need. It also contains trace elements that are essential to our health. It also contains large amount of natural iodine which helps in the proper function of the thyroid as iodine is essential in the production of thyroid hormones, T3 and T4.

Seaweed And Weight Loss

Seaweed is reputed to be able to bind toxic metals in our intestinal tracts so that they are not absorbed into the body. It also plays an important role in any weight loss programme. Seaweed is high in a natural fibre that researchers have found to reduce fat intake by a high percentage. Besides, seaweed itself has no fat and very low in calories. It contains complex carbohydrate and protein which are beneficial to our bodies.

Seaweed is widely consumed in Asian, especially in Japan and Korea. They are eaten in all sorts of ways…as snacks, in soups, in stir fries, for making sushi (Japan) or called kimbab (Korea), sprinkled over other dishes, as a cold salad or even used in baking. Could that be the reason why the Japanese and Koreans are so slim?

Thyroid And Thyroid Disease

Our thyroid is a very important gland situated in front of our neck. It produces a hormone called thyroxine which is very important in helping the body to make energy, keep our body temperature regulated and assist other organs in their functions.

Thyroid disease like hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid thyroid) affect a lot of people but often go undiagnosed. Some of the symptoms for hypothyroidism are fatigue, exhaustion, depression, difficulty concentrating, unexplained weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, feeling cold, constipation, muscle cramps etc. Some of the symptoms for hyperthyroidism are nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, shaky hands, panic disorder, insomnia, racing heart etc. A simple blood test for T3 and T4 will show whether your thyroid is functioning properly.

It is easier to detect hyperthyroidism because of fiery temper, shaky hands, nervousness, etc. However it is much more difficult to detect hypothyroidism and doctors don’t always give you a thyroid test even with the symptoms above. But you can request for it just to make sure, before it is too late. It’s just a simple blood test.

Cooking this long seaweed is very easy. Here is my simple Healthy Seaweed Soup recipe:

pork meat/ribs/bones
1/2 packet seaweed (soaked, washed and cut)
3 carrots
lots of ginger
1 whole garlic
2 big onions
Kikkoman soya sauce to season
pepper powder

Soak seaweed in water

Soak seaweed in water

Cut the dry seaweed into shorter lengths. Put into a big pot or basin. Add water and leave it to soak for a couple of hours.

  Washed and cleaned washed seaweed

Washed and cleaned washed seaweed

Wash the seaweed clean. You need to wash it piece by piece on both sides. I just wipe it with my hands. Then cut it into short strips.

 Put all ingredients in a pot

Put all ingredients in a pot

Put all the ingredients above, except the kikkoman soya sauce and pepper, into a pot. Add water and let it boil over medium heat until the seaweed is soft. Season with kikkoman soya sauce and pepper to taste. We like it quite peppery. This is very delicious with rice. I like it even just as it is.

Note: There are several types of this long sea weed. Some become very soft (too soft) when cooked while some remain tough when cooked. The best is to ask the shopkeeper whether the seaweed will cook properly. So far this one that I used here is very good, not too mushy and not too tough.

Note: One packet of seaweed may look little when dry but when you soak it, it will be a lot. Maybe you can try one piece first if you have never tried before.

Note: A very good soup is very important for making this soup as the seaweed is tasteless. My mom used to fry the dried anchovies (ikan bilis) and then boil it with pork bones and lots of big onions. The soup was very tasty.

Other nutritious soups that you may be interested in:
Chicken Tonic Soup
Nutritious Ginger Wine Chicken Soup
Herbal Chicken Soup Spices From Anncoo

Quote of the day……

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

- David Brinkley

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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anncoo  on January 10th, 2011

I love to cook this a lot because it is very healthy. Looks like you boiled a big pot of seaweed soup :)

Sanjana  on January 10th, 2011

Oh wow, Mary this sounds fantastic. I love anything with seaweed so can’t wait to try a veggie version of this.

Mary  on January 10th, 2011

@anncoo - Yes, I cooked a big pot…to eat for 2 days! It actually tasted better the next day.

@Sanjana - Thanks very much, Sanjana! Have fun cooking :D

Priya  on January 10th, 2011

Never tried soup with seaweeds, definitely a healthy soup..

suituapui  on January 10th, 2011

Eyewwwww…. I don’t like this type of seaweed. I wonder if I can use the sushi wrapper seaweed instead.

Mary  on January 10th, 2011

@Priya - Give a try. It’s healthy and delicious :D

@suituapui - Hey, I thought all Sibu folks love seaweed…how wrong I am…haha. Now may be you can try with sushi seaweed and let me know how you get along with it :D

penny aka jeroxie  on January 10th, 2011

I love seaweed as well. A little pricey over here but it is good and tasty!

Belinda @zomppa  on January 10th, 2011

I knew seaweed was good…but never THAT good for you, especially about the thyroid. Wow!

Angie's Recipes  on January 10th, 2011

I used to have seaweed stir-fried or in soup with tofu. Next time I am going to try them with carrots. Looks delicious.

Ginny Hartzler  on January 10th, 2011

The ingredients in this soup look delicious. So does the soup. I have never tasted seaweed! I didn’t know it is tasteless, one would think it is salty tasting. I love soup and I will have to look for seaweed next time I go to the grocery store. I have hypothyroidsm and take a pill for it. You have a lot of real interesting information here, and I didn’t know any of it!

Mary  on January 10th, 2011

@penny aka jeroxie - Lovely to know you love seaweed as well. Let’s eat often for health :D

@Belinda @zomppa - Hope you enjoy it more often :D

@Angie’s Recipes - I have never tried it stir fried. I would love to try next time :D

@Ginny Hartzler - No, it is not salty, especially after soaking in water. Hope you can find seaweed over at your place. It should be available in Asian shops if you can’t find in normal supermarkets. I’m sorry to hear you suffer from hypothyroidism. I’m glad that you had it diagnosed and is now under medication. Would be good to incorporate seaweed into your diet….natural iodine. Hope you recover fully from it :D

Faith  on January 10th, 2011

There are so many health benefits of seaweed, I really need to start eating it more! Your soup looks really delicious, Mary!

Kamalika  on January 10th, 2011

Hi Mary …How r u???Wish u and ur family happy and prosperous new year….This is a new kind of stew to me….Very informative post…..

Shirley  on January 10th, 2011

Seaweed is something I’ve been wanting to try since a long time, sadly its not available here. Hope I get it someday.

Aipi  on January 10th, 2011

So comfy n hearty..very new recipe!

US Masala

Swathi  on January 10th, 2011

I love the sea weed soup looks yummy

teresa  on January 10th, 2011

i really had no idea seaweed was so good for you. this was really interesting to read. and the soup looks just lovely!

Ananda Rajashekar  on January 10th, 2011

only once i have tried sea weed…thought i was very happy the way they looked but loved it…soup looks fab! :)

Katerina  on January 10th, 2011

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of warm soup. This one looks delicious.

Namitha  on January 10th, 2011

Healthy soup…such a timely recipe. It’s freezing here and I really need some soup now :-)

lequan  on January 10th, 2011

Hi Mary,

My mom makes this kind of soup every so often. My kids like seaweed so they really enjoy this soup. I don’t think she uses Kikoman soy sauce though. I think she just uses salt, so I’ll have to suggest that to her next time. Thanks for all the useful information and benefits of seaweed, that was quite interesting to read.

Mary  on January 10th, 2011

@Faith - Thanks very much, Faith. I hope you like this soup :D

@Kamalika - We are fine here…thanks very much! Hope you are, too :D

@Shirley - Have you tried some Asian or Chinese shops there? I hope you can find it there. It’s good for the family :D

@Aipi - Thanks very much, Aipi! :D

@Swathi - Thanks very much, Swathi! :D

@teresa - Thanks very much, Teresa! I hope you will give this a try and like it :D

@Ananda Rajashekar - wonderful to know that you had tried it and liked it :D

@Katerina - Thanks very much, Katerina! Yes, I love hot soup especially in this cold weather :D

@Namitha - Yes, this is perfect for the cold winter. I have been cooking soup everyday to keep the cold at bay :D

@lequan - Great to know that you are training your kids to eat seaweed from young. It’s often more difficult when kids grow up. I’m glad my girls like it :D

elra  on January 10th, 2011

Great info, thank you. I’ll definitely making more soup using this seaweed.

Jeannie  on January 10th, 2011

My boys love to eat the snack type of seaweeds but not this, they don’t like it done this way, pity because I love this soup with fishballs and eggs. Very healthy indeed!

5 Star Foodie  on January 10th, 2011

I love the idea of seaweed soup and great to hear that it has so many health benefits!

Elin  on January 10th, 2011

Mary, this is so tasty with the konbu and seaweed…lots of goodness in them . I love this kind of soup. Simply delicious especially with the meat in them :)

rebecca  on January 10th, 2011

looks great I need to use seaweed more and your right great for iodine hugs

tigerfish  on January 10th, 2011

Indeed, seaweed is quite nutritious. I love them in soups too.

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tasteofbeirut  on January 11th, 2011

Seaweed is not something I crave by any stretch but this soup looks so healthy I may give it a shot!

Blackswan  on January 11th, 2011

Oh Mary, I love seaweed soup. However, the seaweed u’re using is different from the type I store in my fridge. I normally use Chinese seaweed to make egg-drop soup :)

Mary  on January 11th, 2011

@elra - Hope you enjoy this healthy soup :D

@Jeannie - Oooh, I love that snack type, too. At least they eat :D

@5 Star Foodie - Hope you like it, Natasha! :D

@Elin - Glad you like this soup. I’ll be cooking again soon :D

@rebecca - Yes, it’s good to eat more often. Hope you like it. Would be good to train Jasmine from young :D

@tigerfish - Lovely to know you like it, too :D

@tasteofbeirut - Hope you like this soup at least for its health benefits :D

@Blackswan - I’m sure any seaweed is good to make soup. It takes the taste of others. I love egg drop soup, too. I’ve just cooked seaweed that day yesterday :D

Kristi Rimkus  on January 11th, 2011

Great information! My daughter has hypothyroidism. I’ll forward your recipe on to her. What a delicious and healthy soup!

redkathy  on January 11th, 2011

Very nice soup Mary! My husband suffers from hypothyroidism. Maybe incorporating seaweed into his diet could reduce his medication intake. Thanks for sharing the info.

Mimi  on January 11th, 2011

Happt New Year Mary,
I’ve never made seaweed soup, but it sounds so healthful that I need to give it a try.

Drick  on January 11th, 2011

have never had this soup but it sounds so good and good for your health to boot

Sharon Moh  on January 11th, 2011

I like this with egg beat up into it! :D. Definitely warms the tummy! Love you much.

Dimah  on January 11th, 2011

That looks so interesting!

Mary  on January 11th, 2011

@Kristi Rimkus - There are a lot of people who suffer from hypothyroidism. It’s good that your daughter’s case was diagnosed. I hope she recovers fully soon. I hope she likes seaweed :D

@redkathy - He sures need lots of love from you then…to cook this seaweed soup for him :D I do hope one day he doesn’t need to take mis medication anymore.

@Mimi - Give a try. It’s very good for health. Have fun cooking :D

@Drick - Give a try, Drick…something different from your normal food. Hope you like it :D

@Sharon Moh - I think the egg goes well with wakame and not this type of long seaweed. I have to cook it again soon :D

@Dimah - Give a try. Hope you like it :D

elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds  on January 11th, 2011

Mary-I love seaweed salad, so I know I would lov seaweed soup. Seaweed has so many healthful benefits, it’s available in our local Asian market. I will have to get some next time. Thanks for sharing you delicous recipe from your very own collection!

Joanne  on January 11th, 2011

I adore seaweed! I can feel myself getting healthier just looking at this. Imagine how I’ll feel once I actually make it!

noobcook  on January 12th, 2011

totally nutritious addition to soups :)

Sommer@ASpicyPerspective  on January 12th, 2011

Great info, Mary! I love seaweed in soup.

Zibi  on January 13th, 2011

I didn’t realize seaweed was so healthy. Thanks to your post I’ll make sure not to let mine go to waste… your soup sounds great. I love how in the ingredients you just say ‘lots of ginger’ ;) I can never have enough!

Mary  on January 17th, 2011

@elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds - Lovely to know that you love seaweed, too :D It’s just so good for health.

@Joanne - Hope you make it soon. Have fun cooking :D

@noobcook - Yes, it is :D

@Sommer@ASpicyPerspective - Thanks very much, Sommer! Lovely to know you love seaweed in soup, too :D

@Zibi - Thanks very much, Zibi! Whah, you are a ginger lover, too :D

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