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The hallmark of Korean cooking is the use of the natural foods in appealing ways. Seaweed, which is now domesticated, that is to say raised on farms jutting out into the sea, supplements food that is raised on land. Containing iodine and a host of other minerals and with a flavor reminiscent of an ocean breeze, the fried kelp (laminaria japonica) with a light sprinkling of sugar is an example of the culinary ingenuity of the Koreans.
- Wipe each piece of the dried kelp with a damp (not soaking) cloth.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over moderate heat.
- One at a time, put a very lightly dampened piece of kelp in the hot oil, holding it with chopsticks, until the color changes to dark green.
- Bubbles may appear on the kelp surface and it will develop a crispness.
- While the kelp is still hot sprinkle on a few grains of sugar.
- The sugar will cling to the kelp when it is still hot and just removed from the oil.
- It will not do so when cold.
- Eat as a side dish or snack food with tea or a drink.