Craving something light, but super healthy? Try this easy Sea Vegetable Soup recipe with mushrooms, miso, and green onions. (Gluten Free, Vegan)

So, are you eating them?

Sea vegetables, that is.

If not, you should be!

Sea Vegetables Health & Nutrition Benefits

  • Fucoidans. These starch-like polysaccharides in sea vegetables are being studied for many potential health benefits.  In vitro studies {studies done in a test tube}have shown fucoidans to have antitumor, antiangiogenic, antiviral, and immunomodulatory effects.  In addition, fucoidans may also have neuroprotective, radioprotective, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, and antiulcer properties.  Clearly human studies are needed, but the potential health benefits from fucoidans appear very promising.
  • Iodine. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine which supports thyroid health. 1/4 cup of sea veggies provides over 276 % of the recommended daily value for iodine.
  • Insulin Sensitivity. Contains enzymes called haloperoxidases and the mineral vanadium.  Research is preliminary, but vanadium may help with insulin sensitivity.
  • Iron. Sea vegetables provide a good source of non-heme iron.

Now that you know about the health benefits of sea vegetables, you still may be wondering how to eat them. Me too! Up until this point, my sea veggie eating had consisted of sushi seaweed, seaweed snacks, and seaweed salad.


Considering that there are thousands of varieties of sea vegetables {aka algae}, clearly I needed to expand my sea veggie repoitoire, so I started with three varieties, dulse, kombu, and arame.

Varieties of Sea Vegetables

Dulse is a deep purple color, and while it is recommended that it be soaked for 10 minutes, then cooked for 5-10 minutes, it has a nice chewy texture and can be eaten for a snack straight from the bag.

Kombu, on the other hand, is much tougher, and definitely needs to be soaked and cooked before eating. It’s often used in stocks or ground as a flavor enhancer.

The last variety I tried was Alaria. It is harvested in the Atlantic and is a distant cousin of Japanese wakame.  After soaking and cooking, it has a nice chewy texture and mild flavor.

It worked perfectly for my Super Healthy Super Sea Vegetable Soup!

Chock full of health enhancing  sea vegetables, miso, mushrooms, green onions, and tofu, a generous serving of this soup will no doubt help keep the winter colds and other ailments away!

A word of caution…

Before I share the recipe with you, I feel it’s important to share some information regarding the potential for heavy metal contamination, in particular arsenic, involving sea vegetable, as virtually all types of sea veggies have been determined to contain traces of arsenic.

Clearly, the potential health benefits of consuming sea veggies are tremendous, however, I’m guessing most of you , like me, don’t like the idea of adding arsenic in to your diet, so here is some information to consider when buying sea veggies.

  • Hijki carries the most risk in terms of arsenic exposure, therefore should be avoided unless it is available in the form of certified organic hijiki {See more on organic sea veggies below}.
  • There are some Certified Organic Sea Veggies on the market today.Β  Some of these have been farmed in a closely monitoredΒ  “aquaculture” or “mariculture” process and are more likely to have much lower levels {or no detected levels} of arsenic and other heavy metals.Β  Other certified organic sea veggiesΒ  are wild-harvest, but come from regions where ocean waters are better protected against contaminants.
  • Your best bet is to use certified organic products that report testing for heavy metals, chemicals, and bacteriological pollution.Β 

Easy Sea Vegetable Miso and Mushroom Soup

Craving something light, but super healthy? Try this easy Sea Vegetable Soup recipe with mushrooms, miso, and green onions. (Gluten Free, Vegan)
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cup dried alaria, may use another sea vegetable
  • 5 tablespoons miso, or to taste
  • 2 cup cooked mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups firm tofu, cubed


  • Place water and dried alaria in a large pot {the alaria will expand greatly in volume}, and bring water to a boil. Turn heat down, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Removed alaria from pot and set aside. Whisk miso into water, according to taste. Chop the alaria in to bite size pieces.
  • Divide miso broth between 4 bowls and top each bowl with 1/4 of the alaria, cooked mushrooms, and green onions. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup tofu.


Miso: There are many varieties of miso. I used yellow miso which has a light, slightly sweet taste. If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure you use miso which has been fermented with rice as opposed to barley.
Mushrooms: You can use dried or raw mushrooms and cook them, or try using my new find, Frozen Organic Mixed Mushrooms from Woodstock Farms.


Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1154mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 3mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword sea vegetable recipes
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  1. Need to incorporate more sea veggies in my diet for sure. I am taking a supplement called ‘daily multiple’ from Mineralife that contains 10 different species. Thanks for all the info!

  2. InTolerant Chef says:

    I can get many types of sea veggies at our local Asian market, but I doubt they are anything like organic. Maybe just small amounts?

  3. EA-The Spicy RD says:

    Good question about Trader Joes Lisa. I know they have seaweed snacks, but not sure if I’ve ever seen other varieties of dried seaweed there. Let me know if you find it!

  4. Awesome! Great info! Yes, I do eat my sea veggies, but I think it is by default, not so much that I go out, buy them and make them. It is not uncommon to get served sea veggies in Japan. I have had some seaweed type things that have been really good and others that really made us want to gag. But I just keep on trying them.

  5. Kristi Rimkus says:

    Terrific post, and your pictures are amazing! I haven’t heard of many of these veggies either, but I’m sure interested in hunting them down.

  6. Kristen (swanky dietitian) says:

    This post was fabulous! I really need to start eating my sea veggies!
    This soup looks fantastic.
    E.A., your pictures always look so beautiful! I hope for my photography to be as good as yours one day!

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      Aww..thanks so much Kristen. I know your photos will be just as good as mine πŸ™‚ Now go eat your sea veggies!

  7. Will @ Cheap and Easy Food says:

    I love a good seaweed salad so I’m definitely going to have to try this in a soup! Great post

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      So glad you stopped by Will! Hope you enjoy the soup!

  8. Sanjeeta kk says:

    This is absolutely stunning EA..may not get all the ingredients mentioned…some day πŸ™‚

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Santeeja! Hope you get to try at least a little sea veggies πŸ™‚

  9. looks tasty where can I buy them?

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      I got my sea veggies at Whole Foods Rebecca. I like the Maine Coast brand because it is organic and they test for heavy metals and other contaminants. You can order them on line, but hope you are able t find some locally.

  10. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    I definitely need to experiment more with sea veggies although I do love my miso soup!

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      My whole family loves miso soup πŸ™‚

  11. Gina (The Candid RD) says:

    I don’t think I EVER eat sea veggies!! I guess I get my iodine from salt…and yogurt. I do love the looks and sound of this soup, though. I’m a HUGE fan of oriental soups, like eggdrop and wonton (haha, they don’t have sea veggies though).
    The kale with seaweed, sesame and ginger recipe (form Simply Recipes) sounds fantastic too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      Hope you try the soup Gina, and yes, the salad from Simply Recipes is definitely on my list to try!

  12. kellie@foodtoglow says:

    Fabulous information and, c’mon: how did you manage to make sea vegetables look glamourous? I use quite a lot of sea vegetables in cooking, mainly in a sneaky way, or in the case of kombu, to tenderise meat and ‘deflate’ beans (it works moderately well). I know a lot more now than I did 10 minute ago. Thanks EA.

    1. EA-The Spicy RD says:

      Glamorous sea veggie-lol! Thanks Kellie-love that you’re getting in your sea veggies in creative ways!

  13. juniakk @ mis pensamientos says:

    ahhh great minds think alike! i love nori and wakame. my mom uses kombu to make broths for her soups! i love your soup – simple, healthy, and delicious!! i totally linked your blog post to mine, so that my readers can find out more about this stuff! thanks for the blog post shout out too :). have a wonderful day EA!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Ah, yes, great minds do think alike Junia! Love that you and your mom incorporate sea veggies in to your diets. Next time I need info on sea veggies, I’m coming to you πŸ™‚ Thanks for the link up too!

  14. Lauren Slayton says:

    Such a good post. I eat seasnacks and that’s where my seaweed ends. Jean-Georges suggests kombu for his roasted chicken and uses it often in his “cooking at home” book. I have been contemplating sea veggies for a while but I think I like them in theory more than reality. Oh and Andy Bellatti did a sea veggie something recently.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Glad you liked the info Lauren! Roast chicken and kombu sounds intriguing…I included Andy Bellatti’s recipes in my round-up of recipes to try πŸ™‚

  15. EA-The spicy rd says:

    Good to know to stay away from pre-made seaweed salads! I always love our challenges-will have to think up some ideas for the next one πŸ™‚

  16. EA-The spicy rd says:

    Thanks Terra-hope you give it a try! Hugs back πŸ™‚

  17. Marisa Voorhees, The Food-Sensitive Foodie says:

    EA – way to throw down an awesome recipe AND super information about sea veggies. I loved doing this taste challenge with you and loved even more to learn from you.

    This challenge taught me that I LOVE seaweed snacks, in many forms. I HATE pre-made seaweed salads (it was like eating a soggy metal shavings.)

    I have all of the fixings for your yummy soup so can hardly wait to mix myself a bowl or three!

    What’s our next challenge?

  18. Simply Life says:

    YUM! This soup looks so good!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much for your comment! So glad you stopped by πŸ™‚

  19. teri@managedmacros says:

    My sea veggies diet is limited. I LOVE the roasted seaweed snacks sold at Trader Joes and I consume 1 tsp Spirulia day which is a blue green algae… similar, right?? I have actually never heard of these veggies before but I am intrigued!!! What a fun idea and I bet it taste amazing! I love Japanese cooking…I lived there as a child 3 years…way before I had interest in ethnic cuisine, however I did acquire a taste for seaweed that I still appreciate!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      I don’t know much about Spirulina, but I believe you’re right-that it is in the algae family. So cool that you lived in Japan! From everything I have heard, the food is amazing there-definitely on my “go to” list one day!

  20. Stormy @Maoomba says:

    I’ve also wanted to add more sea veggies to my diet. There is a cupboardful in my kitchen from a recent trip to the Asian grocery store near my house – I just needed some recipe help and inspiration. The soup looks great!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Hope you try the soup and one of the seaweed salad recipes {next on my list!} The soup is souper easy to make πŸ™‚

  21. Whoa, I definitely need to expand my sea veggie horizons – never knew there were so many options and this soup looks delicious!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks Deanna! Always fun expanding culinary horizons πŸ™‚