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laver

Pronunciation: [LAY-vuhr]

This highly nutritious dried seaweed comes in tissue-thin sheets about 7 1/2 inches square. It has a fresh, tangy-sweet flavor and a dark purple color, which is why it's also called purple laver. The Chinese name for this seaweed is jee choy, which means "purple vegetable." Before using, laver must be soaked in cold water. After an hour of soaking, it doubles in size. Laver is often used in soups. Strips of it can also be deep-fried and served as an appetizer.