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Sea vegetable primer

Dulse: Reddish-brown, chewy and salty. Comes in whole leaves or in powdered form to sprinkle on top of finished foods.

Kombu: Known as kelp in English. Mildly salty, somewhat sweet, kombu often comes in large leaves. A traditional seasoning and flavoring, kombu also works well as a garnish.

Nori: Thinly rolled sheets, best known as the base of sushi rolls. Flavored with oil and salt, nori is also gaining popularity as a prepackaged snack. "When it's powdered and put into a shaker, it's my secret weapon," says John Sugimura of PinKU Japanese Street Food in Minneapolis.

Sea broccoli: "This is my number-one favorite vegetable," says Sugimura. "It tastes like fresh produce that's just come out of the ocean. It's great sautéed and used as a topping on protein. You only need a little sprinkle to add a lot of punch and crunch."

Wakame: (WAH-ka-may). Called "sea mustard" in English, it has a sweet, subtle flavor and is most often used in soups and salads.