From Crunch to Munch: The Irresistible Rise of Roasted Seaweed Snacks

From Crunch to Munch: The Irresistible Rise of Roasted Seaweed Snacks


Time to read 5 min

Discover the Rising Popularity of Korean Roasted Seaweed in America

A famous celebrity’s child takes out a black piece of paper from an envelope and eats it. Curious foreign netizens keep asking in the comments what that black thing is. Upon closer inspection, it turns out to be ‘kim’ – packaged roasted seaweed made in Korea. Roasted seaweed has been quietly and steadily taking over the taste buds of Americans. Today, let’s explore why Korean roasted seaweed has become a valuable export product and a popular snack among American children, along with the various foods made from roasted seaweed.

The Viral Spread of Roasted Seaweed

Last year, Trader Joe’s kimbap went viral, playing a significant role in spreading the Korean food culture of roasted seaweed and rice throughout the United States. Naturally, people became more familiar with roasted seaweed and began to fall in love with its rich and crunchy texture. It is also known as a superfood and keto-friendly option with relatively low calories, boasting a much higher protein content than regular seaweed. In Korean dramas and movies, roasted seaweed is often featured on the dining table, making it a familiar sight. Now, you can easily find roasted seaweed in the ‘Asian Food’ or ‘Snack’ sections of any American supermarket.

The Journey of Korean Roasted Seaweed

Korean roasted seaweed’s popularity did not happen overnight. In Korea, which has the ideal environment for growing seaweed, regions like Wando, Jangheung, and Gwangcheon are famous for producing high-quality roasted seaweed through fair competition. Unlike Japan and China, Korea’s environment allows for the production of thin yet crispy roasted seaweed, which has been popular among Japanese and Chinese tourists for years.

Benefits of Roasted Seaweed

The nutrients in a thin sheet of roasted seaweed, weighing just 2 to 3 grams, are incredibly diverse. Essential nutrients like protein and carbohydrates make up 70 to 80% of its content. It is a high-protein food, with the protein in five sheets of dried roasted seaweed equivalent to that in one egg. Although processed roasted seaweed can be eaten year-round, its taste and quality vary depending on the harvest season. Winter, the peak season, yields roasted seaweed with the highest protein content and best taste, containing about 30 to 40 grams of protein per 100 grams. With a protein score of 59, roasted seaweed surpasses the standard protein value, earning it the nickname “soybean from the sea.”

korean roasted seaweed

In addition to protein, roasted seaweed contains nearly 10% minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. It is rich in various vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, and E, and also contains niacin and choline. Roasted seaweed is high in taurine, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels.

Roasted seaweed is also rich in dietary fiber, which is increasingly important in today’s diet, marked by higher meat consumption and weight loss trends. Dietary fiber is beneficial for relieving constipation, preventing hemorrhoids, and normalizing cholesterol metabolism. Unlike land vegetables, roasted seaweed’s dietary fiber has a soft texture, making it gentle on the stomach and intestines while promoting excellent intestinal function. It is also effective in removing harmful substances like amines from the intestines.

Delicious Roasted Seaweed Snack Recipes

01. California Avocado Sushi Snacks

Making sushi at home can seem daunting, but there's a way to enjoy similar flavors with minimal effort through Avocado Sushi Snacks. These snacks use simple ingredients and offer endless topping possibilities. Here’s how to create them:


  • Roasted seaweed snack sheets
  • Day-old rice
  • Fiber-rich California Avocados, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice
  • Toppings: sea salt, fresh herbs, sriracha mayo, sambal oelek, furikake


  1. Lay out roasted seaweed snack sheets on a plate or cutting board.
  2. Top each sheet with a spoonful of room temperature day-old rice.
  3. Drape lime-drizzled slices of California Avocados over the rice (2 slices per snack).
  4. Add toppings to taste. Options include flaky sea salt, sliced scallion greens, torn cilantro, sambal oelek, furikake, and sriracha mayo.

This versatile snack can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge, making it a quick and easy option for any time.

02. Crispy Wonton Seaweed Chips

For those who enjoy frying, these Crispy Wonton Seaweed Chips are a must-try. They are simple to make and pair perfectly with sesame guacamole.


  • Wonton wrapper sheets
  • Egg white
  • Roasted seaweed sheets
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt


  1. Brush egg white on top of a wonton wrapper sheet.
  2. Place a sheet of roasted seaweed on top and brush with a bit more egg white to ensure it sticks.
  3. Fry in a pot with vegetable oil on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until crispy.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of salt. Warning: These are slightly addictive!

03. Baked Seaweed Chips with Miso Mayo

These baked seaweed chips are a healthier alternative to fried snacks and pair wonderfully with miso-flavored mayo.


  • Starchy potatoes (such as Russet or Maris Piper)
  • Light olive oil
  • Roasted seaweed (nori)
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic powder
  • Small dried shiitake (optional)
  • Vegan mayo
  • Miso paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.
  2. Slice potatoes and soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Drain and dry the potatoes thoroughly.
  4. Toss the potato slices in light olive oil and spread them out on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake until crispy, turning once.
  6. Grind roasted seaweed into a fine powder and mix with nutritional yeast and garlic powder.
  7. For the miso mayo, mix vegan mayo with a touch of miso paste.
  8. Sprinkle the seaweed seasoning over the baked chips and serve with miso mayo.

04. Gimmari (Fried Seaweed Rolls)

Gimmari, a popular Korean street food, features crispy seaweed rolls filled with glass noodles. Here's how to make it at home:


  • Dried seaweed sheets (gim or nori)
  • Glass noodles (dangmyeon)
  • Optional vegetables (garlic chives or carrots)
  • Frying batter


  1. Prepare a simple version of Korean japchae noodles with glass noodles and vegetables.
  2. Roll the noodles in dried seaweed sheets.
  3. Coat each roll with frying batter.
  4. Deep fry until crispy.
  5. Serve with spicy rice cakes (tteokbokki) or enjoy as is.

These recipes highlight the versatility of roasted seaweed as a delicious and nutritious snack. Whether you prefer something quick and easy or a bit more adventurous, there's a roasted seaweed snack for everyone. Enjoy experimenting with these recipes and discovering new ways to incorporate this superfood into your diet!

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