I. What is kelp?

II. How does it grow?

III. Who eats kelp?

IV. Living in the kelp forest (clickable diagram)

V. How is kelp affected by El Niño?

VI. Fun with kelp

Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Cam

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University of Southern California Sea Grant Program

Fun with Kelp!

Seaweed Recipes | Seaweed Pressing



Seaweed Sweets

Did you know that you probably eat a bit of the ocean every time you eat some of your favorite foods? A substance called algin is found in the cell walls of the kelp plant. Algin makes the kelp plant flexible enough to withstand the pressure of the ocean's movement. When it is processed, algin can be used to thicken, gel, and stabilize. For this reason, alginates are used in making pudding, ice cream, salad dressing and non-food items like shampoo, paint, toothpaste, and fertilizer.

Make a batch of these delicious kelp cookies* to share with a friend.

You will need:

  • 1 c. margarine (2 sticks)
  • 1 t. almond flavoring
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t powdered kelp**
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 large mixing bowls & spoons
  • measuring spoons
  • baking sheets
  • stove
  • hot pads
  • wire cooling racks

Follow these steps:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Blend well.
  2. Combine the flour, kelp, salt, and baking soda in another bowl. Combine the ingredients in the two bowls and mix well.
  3. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes. Lift the cookies off the baking sheets onto wire cooling racks. When cool, store in an airtight container. The cookies will be chewy, and will sat fresh for several days.

* Recipe by Erniew Mae Campodonico of Nipomo, California.
** Available at natural food stores.

Hand-Rolled Sushi

  • Sheets of nori cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 c. cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 3- to 4-in pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 3- to 4-in pieces
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  1. Slice the carrot and cucumber pieces into narrow strips.
  2. Add rice vinegar to cooked rice, stirring thoroughly.
  3. Take a sheet of nori in the palm of your hand and spoon a heaping teaspoon of rice onto its center and add carrots and cucumbers.
  4. Wrap nori around rice and vegetables to make a roll.
  5. Dip sushi roll in soy sauce.

Laver Soup

  • 1 c. dehydrated nori
  • 2 c. water
  • one 10 1/2-ox can beef consommé
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (or less, to taste)
  1. Tear dried nori into pieces.
  2. Simmer in water until soft.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then add the consommé and lemon juice. Heat just to boiling.
  4. Add a twist of lemon peel in each serving bowl.
  5. Serve with crackers of toast.


(Recipes by California Sea Grant)

University of Southern California Sea Grant Program
3616 Trousdale Parkway - AHF 254
Los Angeles CA 90089-0373
(213) 740-1961