Seaweed is an important and indispensable food in Korean meals because it presents a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
In 2017, the world famous Korean seaweed was chosen as the international standard among seaweed.
These algae can be eaten in different ways such as in kimbap, in the form of snacks, or seasoned as an accompaniment ...)
Seaweed is quite the superfood and has tons of health benefits and laver is so yummy to boot.
Laver is often gifted for holidays in Korea because it is just that important and so oft eaten in Korea so whether you’re coming here or are just looking for a healthy superfood to add to your diet, it’s something you should know about. Laver, a dried seaweed, is often eaten wrapped around rice, tops soups as a garnish to add a bit of salt rather than adding straight salt, and is a snack on tables when drinking beer. Have you tried it?
Gim (김), also romanized as “kim” sometimes, is the Korean word for an edible seaweed also called laver.
The laver can come unflavored and basically just as is, but they also come with sesame oil and salted versions so when buying you really need to know what you want and what you’re going to be making. I personally LOVE the oiled and salted but that’s for topping soups and wrapping around little rice balls. You wouldn’t want that kind for making a roll. Gim is a common side dish, or banchan, on Korean restaurant and dining tables and if you come to my house, sometimes it just takes the place of potato chips too. It’s a bit crispy, it tastes good, and it’s actually healthy.
Laver isn’t just eaten in Korea. It’s eaten everywhere from Wales where they make laverbread and Ireland where they eat it with bacon to the Philippines where they make a dessert with it and so on. It’s definitely a food you could come across again and again as you travel around seaside spots in the world.
Is Seaweed GIM Healthy?
There is a reason that pregnant women and postpartum women are fed seaweed soup after giving birth in Korea and it has everything to do with the health benefits of eating seaweed. Laver is the best dietary source of iodine, which helps thyroid glands,and is high in iron and protein. It contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin D and is high in antioxidants that help to protect cells from damage. Laver also contains a person’s daily amount of 22% potassium. Seaweed has 67 times more vitamin A than eggs and 1.5 times more vitamin C than oranges. Laver is one of the most nutritious seaweeds. Important to note though is that it should be eaten in moderation as everything should be due to its high levels of sodium and iodine.
Just a note about that seaweed soup that women eat in Korea after giving birth, and actually Koreans eat this on every birthday there after as well, it does NOT have laver but uses miyok, a kind of sea mustard seaweed. As someone who came here without having much experience in seaweed, I definitely didn’t realize there was a difference when I tried to make my first seaweed soup so make sure you know the difference and use the right kind of seaweed depending on what you’re trying to make/eat.
Types Of Laver
Dol Gim: This laver has a rough texture with holes and is tasty and fragrant.
Jaerae Gim: Also called Chosun Gim, this laver is probably the one you’ll see most here in Korea. It is roasted with sesame oil and salt.
Gim for Gimbap: Looking to make your own Korean rolls or seaweed rolls? This is the one you want. This laver is thick, tough, and has smaller holes.
Parae Gim: This laver is actually mixed with another seaweed called parae, or green algae, and then dried. It’s cheaper than Dol Gim and Jaerae Gim and is often dipped in soy sauce when you eat it in restaurants.