Savory Seaweed Broth

by Jane Wangersky | December 25th, 2014 | Recipes, Simple Solutions, Soups & Stews

ref=”×399.jpg”>seaweed broth (400x399)Sometimes you don’t want a soup that eats like a meal. The Campbell’s company knows this, or they would’ve discontinued all their non-chunky soups long ago. Sometimes, all you want is a clear, flavorful broth, either to warm you up without filling you up, or to add taste to a dish you’re cooking.

Of course, you can get this by making your own meat or poultry stock — but while that’s easy, it takes time and leaves you with fat to skim off and a lot of boiled bones and meat scraps to dispose of. Even homemade vegetable stock is somewhat messy, leaving you with loads of cooked-to-death onions, celery, and carrots. I mean, I appreciate the city’s green waste program, but it’s still a pain getting stuff ready for it. Anyway, my homemade vegetable stock always seems to come out a little too sweet. Instant soups are at least neat, and they’ve got umami — they should, with all that MSG.

I set out to make my own not-at-all-sweet vegetable broth with the saltiest, most umami-laden ingredients I could think of — and it was surprisingly easy. This recipe gives you an almost instant vegetable broth made from scratch, with no mess to clean up (well, a tiny bit of boiled greens, which you can eat or save for something else). It’s just as packed with flavor as instant vegetable broth. And no wonder — the first commercial MSG was derived from seaweed broth.

Seaweed broth is common in Asia, but I don’t make any claims for this being authentic. For one thing, it’s made from roasted seaweed, the kind used for sushi and sold in tiny packages as a snack food. That’s what I found at the nearest store, and what you’re most likely to find at yours, here in the Western countries.

You might want to make up a batch of this and freeze it in small quantities. Then it’ll be just as handy as instant.

Savory Seaweed Broth

Homemade Asian-style vegetable broth for cooking or eating straight


For every half cup of broth
  1. 1 cup water
  2. ½ cup chopped roasted seaweed (nori)
  3. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  1. Combine water and seaweed in a small pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Strain.
  5. Add soy sauce.
  1. Try leaving the seaweed in, especially if you’re just going to be eating this. It’s easier, anyway.
  2. The broth may be an unappetizing green color till you add the soy sauce, but that fixes both the color and the taste.
Think Tasty

  1. […] For a quick version, check out my recipe for seaweed broth. […]

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