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Kelp Noodles

kelp noodles gluten-free

Photo by katstan on flickr.com

Have you ever tasted kelp noodles? They’re different. And delicious.

Lately, I’ve been eating more than my fair share of kelp noodles and I have to say I’m enjoying them immensely. They’re my new favorite food. We eat these low carb gluten free noodles several nights a week with dinner. And did I say they’re delicious? Oh yes, I did.

What are kelp noodles? They’re simply noodles made from kelp seaweed. I believe I first heard about kelp noodles from Kelly of The Spunky Coconut. It took me a few months to get around to actually purchasing them after she told me about their various benefits; since then these gluten free Paleo noodles have changed my life.

You see, I hadn’t had a noodle for at least 6 months, since last fall, when I gave up legumes. Up until that point I had been indulging in these gluten free black bean noodles that Alexa from Lexie’s Kitchen had recommended to me.

Here’s how I personally prepare my kelp noodles:

Preparation Instructions for Kelp Noodles


  • 1 package kelp noodles
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • water for rinsing
  1. Open the noodles and place them in a bowl
  2. Run water over them a few times to rinse them out
  3. Fill bowl of noodles with warmish water and let stand for 30 minutes
  4. Rinse noodles a final time and serve with your favorite sauce

Please note: kelp noodles have a crunchy texture that is different than that of traditional pasta.

Have you ever eaten kelp noodles? If so, when did you first hear about them? Did they change your life the way they changed mine? Do your children fight over them with you?

posted on May 25, 2012, 92 comments

  1. Nicole @ pinchmysalt.com

    I’ve never even heard of kelp noodles! Are these similar to shirataki noodles? I’ll have to seek some out, since I definitely don’t get enough kelp in my diet :-)

  2. Kate@ eatrecyclerepeat @ eatrecyclerepeat.com

    I live in Japan, so I eat kelp all the time. They cut it into different shapes, including a noodle-like one that I use to make pad thai and larb gai, paleo-style. It is so delicious, I’ll be sad to give it up when I eventually move back to the US! But knowing there is an option like this will make it easier. Thanks for posting as always!

  3. katieDid @ katiekdid.com

    I’ve seen them but always brushed them off as some low calorie/ diet food. I didn’t really consider they might actually be nutritious and tasty… I’m gonna keep a look out for them now!

  4. Elana, I am so glad you posted about these! I have had a bag sitting in my fridge for a couple of months now (good thing they have a decent shelf life). Just have been nervous to try them and wasn’t sure what to enjoy them with. Can’t wait to hear what your readers are piling on them or drowning them in. I am dreaming of dashi and ume and …. xo

  5. Pamela Fox @ eatdifferent.com

    What timing! I actually just posted a guide to alternative noodles at http://www.eatdifferent.com/tips/noodles

    I love kelp noodles, but they’re definitely not for every dish, and they don’t taste great just out of the bag. They work well when marinated in a sauce for a while or heated up with other stuff. My two favorite uses were:
    Kelp Noodle Salad:

    Primal San Choy Bow:

    And they work well in most stir-fries, curries, generally.

  6. Oh yum…..I love these kelp noodles…my mom bought them when she was eating a lot of raw food, and they were perfect for dinner.

  7. I found these kelp noodles at Whole Foods and fell in love with them. Still don’t think they really work as a spaghetti but for noodle soups, salads, and all asian-inspired dishes, they are perfect! If you want a less-crunchy noodle, they can be boiled in water or stock like dry pasta and they will soften and get floppy and slurpy.

  8. sirpa

    I started eating these kelp noodles about a year ago. I usually prepare a soup with kale, fresh herbs, mushrooms and chicken stock (home made), and chicken and pour it over the noodles in a bowl, let sit for a moment and then eat it. i also have had them with any pasta sauce.

  9. Jodi

    I LOVE these noodles. They’re great for using up leftovers too…. throw some leftover chicken or fish, veggies & some kind of sauce together with the noodles and you’ve got a great meal. I especially love using peanut or almond butter sauces in this.

    Btw, you can eliminate the crunchiness from the noodles by putting a squirt of lemon into the water you soak the noodles it. Softens them up in about a half hour.

  10. Diane

    I first learned of kelp noodles when we tried a raw food restaurant in Santa Monica CA called “Planet Raw”. It was knock-your-socks-off amazing and the noodles were not crunchy at all so I’m not sure how they prepared them but the pasta dish was really truly delicious (frankly, everything we had there was delicious). Thanks for reminding me of these, I have never bought and prepared them but I’ll try now!

  11. Sherry Osadchey @ sherryosadchey.com

    I LOVE kelp noodles, too! I love having them in salads, with hot dishes but not cooked in the dish. I cook or warm the other food and then put it over my kelp noodles. I first learned of them from Ani Phyo’s blog. A great addition to the pantry. Ani is a raw chef….but I do a combination of paleo, raw, and just Sherry :-).

  12. It’s several months ago when I tried kelp noodles. I found them from iHerb and thought they sound interesting and suit perfectly to my simple sugar-free cereal-free lifestyle. Unfortunately I didn’t like the taste and texture at all, there was some kind of metallic aftertaste. I tried them in several ways (soup, creamy sauce, salad, …) but still haven’t found a way how they would be palatable.

    Instead, I have found shirataki (konnyaku = glucomannan) noodles quite nice, at least the angel hair noodles. There are also shirataki rice and fettucine, but those were a bit odd at least for me. I make often a simple creamy curry sauce for shirataki noodles: heavy cream or coconut cream, curry paste and noodles. Sometimes I add vegetables like bell pepper, zucchini and onion. Simple and tasty!

    Jodi, thanks for the tip for removing the crunchiness from the kelp noodles! I have to try that out since the crunchiness was disturbing me.

  13. Christina

    I bought several cases of them from the raw food world when they had a crazy sale on them. Yes, I think they are THAT good! I make my own pesto or creamy hemp sauce (any sauce really) and slather them in one or both. Elana’s pad thai and sesame noodles too. I put them in collard wraps or my own veggie/flax wraps I make with my vitamix and dehydrator. Salads, green smoothies, etc…. They are fabulous!!! Trying to turn the kids on to them. Sometimes Rey like them, sometimes they don’t. I thought I’d have to fight over them but for now, I don’t have to share! And if they randomly want some, I make sure they eat as much as their little hearts desire. They are a staple for me!

  14. Jennifer Stephenson

    Just a thought-I learned this summer after taking kelp, that if one has thyroid issues (I have Hashimoto’s ) that kelp is actually NOT helpful. It will cause more inflammation in the thyroid.

  15. Stacey LoSacco


    Mung Bean Fettuccine from the same company that makes the Black Bean fettuccine is also really good! thanks for posting about the kelp noodles. I tried them once and now I have other ideas as to make them softer:)

  16. Julie

    Never heard of them but if people fight over them than I think I must try them!

  17. MamaCassi

    I will have to locate these. I love the asian-style bean/starch noodles, but have stepped away from them for the last year or so. All my kids LOVE noodles and would love to have them in the diet again.

    and since we highly sauce everything, and add spices galore, i think these could be fun.


  18. Glorianne Garza

    I LOVE kelp noodles. I make a salad with veges and an almond butter coconut oil tamari kind of dressing…let them marinate and super yummy. I roll them up in nori wraps for a great raw meal! There is also a recipe online for raw vegan cheezy kelp noodles from Planet Raw…Easy and delicious, made with a sprinkle nut cheeze with nutrtional yeast. When I do “pasta” I prefer to make zucchini spaghetti by shredding them long way on my mandoline and putting whatever sauce on them…marinara or hemp seed pesto. Sprinkle with nut cheese and I don’t miss a thing!

  19. Chris C

    Elana these sound like a great addition to my “learning” how to eat healthy routine! What are the benefits of kelp?


  20. The husband isn’t too keen on them, but I love these noodles. I also buy their other seaweed product.

  21. Jill

    Crunchy noodles would not be a suitable pasta alternative for my family. Maybe that’s because I’ve tried to make a spaghetti alternative using zuchhini noodles made on a spiral slicer. Warming them up doesn’t take out all the crunch and I’ve been afraid to cook them further and turn them into mush. Pasta is the one thing I really miss since I’ve gone wheat free. These kelp noodles might be nice in an asian dish but not anything italian IMO.

  22. Ruth

    From what I have read, kelp is very contaminated with mercury. I would be wary of eating these noodles frequently unless you know they are tested for mercury.

  23. Rachel B @ bb4wa.com

    Love kelp noodles! I also use organic kelp granules in my cooking and salads regularly.

  24. Electra

    I am addicted to kelp noodles!!!!! Best recipe boil them for 10 minutes then sauté with your favorite dish. Mine is scallops shrimp garlic lemon ghee sometimes I throw coconut milk and vinegar for a twist. After sautéing for 10 minutes it’s better then linguine!! I swear my husband doesn’t know the difference. There is also the same brand in green tea.

  25. gaile

    Are these the ones that feel a bit like rubber bands? or is that the shiritaki?

  26. katie h.

    Thanks so much for this post, Elana! I saw these at a local store about a month ago. Picked them up and looked at them, almost bought them, and then thought they looked a little weird and put them back. I’ll definitely try them now. I was just telling someone earlier how much I loooove noodles (and how sad it is I can’t eat many of them anymore).

  27. I make a sauce similar to your almond butter “peanut” sauce and marinate the noodles in that, sautee shrimp and serve this asian style dish ALL the time. My sauce is lime, almond butter, fish sauce, liquid aminos or tamari, tiny bit of honey and cilantro. The acid of the lime softens the noodles and it’s all so so good

  28. Dayle

    When I finished Chemotherapy, I needed the minerals found in seaweed, so I tried these. I have bought them several times. I like to add a little sesame oil and a dash of coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos to mine along with some shredded carrots and sliced green onion. It is simple and nourishing.

  29. Lori

    Elana, I would never have thought about giving these a try if you hadn’t written about them! I can’t wait to try them since I’ve gone grain free. Thanks for keeping your eyes open. Always ready to try something new.

  30. Erin Motz @ erinmotz.com

    Hmm, you know, I couldn’t get in to the kelp noodles. They just had a crunchy texture that my mind refuses to convince me is actually “pasta.” I actually like the Ezekiel pasta when I’m craving it. Ever tried that one? Lots-o-benefits! :)

  31. Marti

    Due to my illness, I am GF, DF and legume-free…avoid nightshades as well. (per research from Dr. Cordain of the Paleo Diet).

    So, I LOVE kelp noodles!! I make a cashew “cream” alfredo sauce and I am in heaven. I live in New Zealand now, and can’t get kelp noodles, but every time I get back to California or Colorado, I indulge in my kelp noodle passion. Like pasta noodles, except there’s a nice crunch…and they don’t leave you with that heavy feeling. Great discovery about 2 years ago from one of the raw websites. :-)

  32. victoria

    I am curious, WHY ISN’T ANYONE WORRIED ABOUT RADIATION CONTAMINATION? I love seaweed too, but I’ve been avoiding Pacific Ocean seaweed after Fukushima. This will have to be a life long ban. It is so sad, I know.

  33. QueenJellyBean

    Kelp noodles, no one above has mentioned, are unusually low in calories. Great for those who have a target number of daily calories. For the evenings when I want to feel full, but am near my caloric limit, these kelp noodles are a godsend.

    I prepare them with a little bit of thin nut butter sauce and shaved carrot and chopped scallion.

    I started eating these 7 years ago. I worked with a personal trainer and I wound up loosing 33 lbs (off a 5 foot frame) and permanently changing my body and eating habits. So I still count calories 7 years later, and kelp is low low low in calories for the volume of food on the plate, which makes dieters feel full.

    Thanks for the reminder about this stuff. I live in San Diego, CA and about 10 years ago there was an exhibit at the San Diego Airport about the local kelp industry. So I like to think I’m “eating local”, or at least eating a food of local significance.

  34. Katie

    I have just gotten into “veggie” noodles this past week. I reluctantly bought a spiralizer (not a lot of kitchen space for yet another gadget), and I love it. So far I’ve only made zucchini and summer squash “pasta” but it is such a great substitute! Must try the kelp noodles now.

  35. Ester Perez @ supermilkmama.com

    Hi Elana,

    I love kelp noodles and so do my kids! Thanks for sharing this! I toss them in a homemade marinara with veggies, or make a raw Pad Thai sauce. They are yummy and very kid friendly. They do taste best when they are softened in some warm water.


  36. Sas

    kelp noodles are the best! Unfortunately, I’m doing the GAPS diet now, and they are not GAPS “legal”. To soften them just soak with juice from 1/2 a lemon and some water in a bowl, let sit about 30 minutes and they’ll be much softer.

  37. Joelle

    We love kelp noodles on top of a salad! I haven’t tried to make them work any other way. I use them with lettuce, cucumbers, red peppers, a little onion, avocado, and something we call Dragon Sauce (not sure why it is called that), but there is tahini in it and ginger, oil, NYF, maple syrup and such.

  38. elizabeth

    i wish to thankyou for all your fabulous recipes you put so much time and effort into, you make cooking fun again instead of a chore thinking of healthy ways to feed the family. i look forward to your email each week with something tantalising for the family. i have your cook books which i enjoy also and use.
    thank you for inspiring me : )

  39. Amy G.

    Hi –

    For those who have tried these – do they taste or smell like seafood, even a tiny bit?


  40. Alexandra

    I love kelp noodles! I actually found the same ones you did a few months ago myself. They are great in olive oil and with ahi tuna steaks, but I would love if you could post some creative recipes to enhance their flavor! :)

  41. Minnie(@thelady8home) @ thelady8home.com

    Thanks for sharing this info. Any recipe to make something yummy using them? Would love to hear on the same and am sure many would get help from it.

  42. stephanie

    do you know where to find theses noodles in Toronto canada ?

  43. Sarah

    Have you been able to tell a difference in your health with not eating legumes?

  44. I tried them once but wasn’t a fan – it really could have been the rest of the recipe I made, though, I couldn’t really tell. I would love to see your favorite sauce or toppings for these!

  45. janet @ the taste space @ tastespace.wordpress.com

    I love kelp noodles! They are crunchy at first but as leftovers they are more akin to glass noodles. It all depends on the sauce you use, so the variations are endless. I think they lend best to Asian dressings, though. ;)

  46. Monique

    I eat them with Thai curry. The thick hot curry softens them and they lose their crunch. They also take in the curry flavors beautifully! Delicious!

  47. Natural Allergies Guy @ aedrops.com

    Thanks for this Kelp Noodle recipes. My son who has allergies to most foods cannot eat many things. This however is one of his favorites and to find a new recipes!! thanks so much!

    Jon @ AllergEase

  48. Sara

    I just made an oriental pasta salad with these and they were amazingly delicious. Thanks for recommending them!

  49. Haley

    I love kelp noodles! I’ve never thought to use them with pasta sauce.

    My favorite is this paleo pad thai recipe (not my site)

  50. My family and I LOVE these. We have been enjoying them since about November of 2011 and wow they have made a huge difference! Once thing to keep in mind is you can cook them to make them soft and if you put them in soup then never get mushy so in the winter I made tons of chicken noodle soup for those cold evenings after working outside all day. We use them in “egg rolls” where I basicly make an asian style filling and steam for a bit (no actual wrap or I wrap in kale). We also make turkish meat balls and laddle them over these… alright we make way more than that but this is just a comment not a full blown add for these beyond amazing noodles.

  51. Laura @ She Eats Well @ sheeatswell.blogspot.com

    I LOVE Kelp Noodles. I have a recipe on my blog for using them in a stir fry. If you pan fry them with a little grapeseed or olive oil, they get even crunchier. They are such a great option/alternative for pasta or rice.

  52. SusanH

    Sodium Alginate is some type of thickener put in many processed foods. This product can’t be healthy since algae is green not white. Not a whole food so it won’t go in my mouth.

  53. Lori

    I ordered a couple packages of kelp noodles for the first time and have found that I really like them! They have no flavor but take on the flavor of what you put on them. Now wish I had ordered a few more!

    My main use is in a big dinner salad in the evening. I prepare my salad with romaine, raw sauerkraut, raw sunflower seeds, and now the raw kelp noodles. They take on the flavor of the dressing, and it is such a pleasure to enjoy a noodle again. Plus the iodine in the noodle is very healthy for me.

    As I’m the only one in the house that eats them, I store the rest of the unused noodles in a jar of pure water in the fridge and they keep quite a long time.

  54. Arlene

    WOW! Made this recipe last night using red wine vinegar subbed for the plum and a couple shakes of soy sauce. How wonderful it was! Added some diced fresh cucumbers. So so good. Just made it again now and ate all of it :) This time I added some cukes and also some diced red pepper. Used the plum vinegar, equally delicious. I added some siracha hot sauce and 2 t of fish sauce.
    The noodles get softer after the sauce is added. Tomorrow going to roast fresh tomatoes, add some olive oil, garlic, fresh basil and make a tomato sauce. Will see how that tastes. Must order more noodles. Amazon has 6 16 oz packages for $23, I think.

  55. SarahBeth


    Thanks so much for sharing this incredible treasure with us! Kelp noodles have totally changed my life. I substitute them for pasta in every kind of pasta dish, and they are incredible. My 1.5-year-old daughter is also a huge fan. Important to note though, they are definitely not filling unless loaded with some extra calories! When I first ate them at dinner, I couldn’t figure out why I was so hungry at 11pm ;)

  56. I get the same kelp noodles you do! We love them in my house too. I use them as a replacement when I make meatballs and they go wonderfully well in this Paleo Chicken Alfredo recipe I make! You reminded me I need to stock up on some more of them! I love that they are so healthy too and you’re getting a nice dosage of iodine. :)

  57. cavemangrocer @ cavemangrocer.com

    For CANADIAN people you can go to http://www.cavemangrocer.com and order KELP noodles for great prices. Support small business!

  58. Christine Springer

    I tried them after seeing this post and was itchy for a day or so afterwards. I think I’m allergic to something in kelp. IIt was a fun adventure to try something new though and I’m bummed they didn’t work for me.

  59. Greenacres

    Just found out: Kelp contains ARSENIC, so don’t eat large amounts of it.

  60. Jen Springer @ jenspringer.com

    I have had these for YEARS and haven’t known what to do with them. Maybe at this point throw them out and get some new ones. Ha ha.

    Do you have any recipes, especially traditional Asian seaweed salad that’s gluten free?

    You are amazing!

  61. I love the crunch of kelp noodles, lovely with tamari sauce and veg for a quick, healthy meal.

  62. Manya

    YES! We eat these pretty often. I actually “cook” them to soften them. I usually make up my own version of coconut curry with red, green, or a masamam and mix in left over veggies, chicken, etc. I make up the sauce and then simmer on a low heat the noodles in it before adding all the other stuff. Comes out AMAZING! A lot like the Thai clear noodles.

  63. traci stevenson

    you can go to an asian grocery store, ask for korean seaweed noodles and they are a 1/3 of the price of whole foods. same stuff. very popular in korean cuisine. so probably can find them in new zealand too if you have a n asian grocery.

  64. I have hashimotos autoimmune disease so I don’t eat gluten dairy and because I love animals I don’t eat those either. I do however eat kelp noodles every day. Your method of preparing them is best but sometimes I don’t have time to do it that way so I just rinse them for 5 minutes swirling them in a bowl of water and emptying, refilling etc. I make a dressing for them with miso vegetable broth. It’s so delicious. I also add sautéed Chinese eggplant and broccoli and cauliflower. Sometimes I make a dressing with the aioli mustard from trader joes mixed with broth. I sprinkle cayenne and powered onion fresh or dried or both basil cilantro. And sambal oleck, the one with the green top!!!!

    • hans

      woah. this sounds so delish. wanna know what i do? LOL! Well i’ll tell you! I like to take vagan cheese and pour it in my mouth right outa the bag. it’s the best that way!!!! Wanna meet up some day?
      xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxo Hans

  65. I may have missed a similar post. But I wanted to add that you can also soak the noodles in lemon water to soften them a bit more.

  66. acm

    I’ve used them for spaghetti (with our usual meat/tomato sauce) and found them just fine (read: barely noticed the difference). Am going to try cold sesame noodles next! :)

  67. Rodica

    I soaked them in water with few drops of sesame oil. I cook some ground meat with ginger and garlic, red pepper and some coconut “soya sauce”. My 6 years old loves this dish. One of my favorites.

  68. Leticia Villarreal Sosa

    I just wanted to let you know that I was the one that just posted a buyer beware about iHerb, the place that Elena’s Pantry links to for purchasing kelp noodles. They refuse to give me a refund even though I never received my order and it was sent to the wrong address. I am filing a complain with the Better Business Bureau and guess what?

    They have had 35 complaints closed in the last 12 months and 52 complaints in the last three years. The majority of those complaints were for delivery issues. Here is the link.


    I really like this recipe, but I will not order from iHerb again after this experience. I found another company that sells Kelp noodles – so they are not the only place you can get kelp noodles – I suggest you also look for alternatives and no longer link directly to iHerb unless you warn people about it.

    Thanks again!

  69. Heather

    Where can I buy kelp noodles for a good price in the durham region (ON Canada)

  70. I have not tried kelp noodles but can’t wait to pick some up and try your recipe. I’m gluten free and I am always looking for alternatives. Thanks!

  71. Peggy

    Have been using them for about 2.5 years now. Learned about them from Ani Phyo, raw foods master. She has a yummy raw pad Thai with kelp noodles. Took a while to find them. Ordered online. They are super , and can be also added to salads.

  72. carmel

    where can i buy kelp noodles in durham region,can you please let me know,thank you

  73. I love kelp noodles. You can get them at Whole Foods here in Arizona. But I do have one concern. I was talking to the owner of a gluten free store located near me, and he said, he doesn’t carry the noodles because the manufacturers in Japan cant guarantee that the kelp they use hasn’t been contaminated by radiation from their nuclear problem they had years ago. Any thoughts on this???

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top