Wakame

Wakame.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Chuka Wakame, Japanese seaweedsalad, is my newest love.

Already for months actually, but the more I eat it, the more I love it. I try not to think that it could be nucleair, because the seagrass mainly comes from Japan. But hey, so does my sushi and I can’t say no to that either. The one Japanese thing I’m not ready to eat yet is the Blowfish or Fugu (Here@Wiki). I’ll have to be mentally prepared for that. In Japan there’s a saying:

To throw away life, eat blowfish.

Well, the tomb of the Fifth Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Ti was engraved with the puffer’s bloated image. The Bible warned against eating fish without fins and scales, like the Red Sea puffer. The fish is loaded with a nerve toxin 500 times deadlier than cyanide. BUT according to a JapaneseFugu-chef, the taste is

as subtle as the fragrance of spring rain dripping upon a stone.

Hmmm makes me wonder. I wonder how I’d describe the taste. Okay. One day I’ll hope to be brave enough to report you about my Fugu-experience.

Are YOU daring enough to try the blow- or fugu fish? Did you ever try? How would you describe the flavour?

 

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For now, I’ll stick to Wakame. (Here@Wiki)
Wakame (ワカメ,wakame), Undaria pinnatifida, or Miyeok (Hangul: 미역) in Korean, is a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. It has a subtly sweet flavour and is most often served in soups and salads. In China, it is called qúndài cài (裙带菜).[7] Chinese production is concentrated around Dalian. In Korea, it is called miyeok (미역)[7] and used in salads or soup such miyeokguk. In French, it’s called “fougère des mers”. In English,it can be called “sea mustard”. Sea-farmers have grown wakame forhundreds of years in Korea and Japan.

Wakame fronds are green and have a subtly sweet flavour and slippery texture. The leaves should be cut into small pieces as they will expand during cooking. In Japan and Europe, wakame is distributed either dried or salted, and used in soups (particularly miso soup), and salads (tofu salad), or often simply as a side dish to tofu and a salad vegetable like cucumber. These dishes are typically dressed with soya sauce and vinegar/rice vinegar.

Chuka wakame, also known as seaweed salad, is a popular side dish at sushi restaurants. Literally translated, it means “sesame seaweed”, as sesame seeds are usually added to the recipe.

Health Benefits
Studies conducted at Hokkaido University have found that a compound in wakame known as fucoxanthin can help burn fatty tissue.[2] Studies have shown that fucoxanthin induces expression of the fat-burning protein UCP1 that accumulates in fat tissue around the internal organs. Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues. Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is usually expressed only in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and a key molecule for metabolic thermogenesis to avoid an excess of fat accumulation. However, there is little BAT in adult humans. Therefore, UCP1 expression in tissues other than BAT is expected to reduce
abdominal fat.

In Oriental medicine it has been used for blood purification, intestinal strength, skin, hair, reproductive organs and menstrual regularity. Wakame contains a lot of calcium,
eggwhites, kalium and magnesium to keep the bones strong. It also contaiuns the following vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 & C.

In Korea, miyeokguk is popularly
consumed by women after giving birth as miyeok contains a high content of calcium and iodine, nutrients that are important for nursing new mothers. Many women consume it during the pregnancy phase as well. It is also traditionally eaten on birthdays for this reason, a reminder of the first food that the mother has eaten and passed on to her
newborn through her milk, thus bringing good fortune for the rest of the year.

Wakame is also used in topical beauty treatments.

RECIPE:
If you can find the seaweed–usually packed in salt (soak, rinse, drain) try this dressing:
Dressing for Wakame Salad (from Japanese Cookbook). No wakame? Try this dressing with cucumber!
********************************************
for 1-1/2 cup fresh wakame seaweed
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Japanese chili pepper powder
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger root, peeled and chopped

Wash salt off fresh wakame seaweed and soak for about 5 minutes. Chop into 1-inch pieces. If you use dried seaweed, soak it in water for about 20 minutes, remove the hard parts, and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss with wakame just before serving. Garnish with chopped ginger.

 

Thank you  Laboratory of Biofunctional Material Chemistry, Division of Marine Bioscience, Japan & Wikipedia

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11 Responses to “Wakame”

  1. I wish i could say I was more of a daring eater but i leave that to my husband. He loves sushi and will try pretty much anything. As far as the blowfish, we watched a show awhile ago about the preparing of a dish, i believe it was that show with the man that travels around and trys all different foods. The Chef admitted if prep’d incorrectly it could be deadly. I wish you luck for your future taste testing. Enjoy!

  2. Thank you! :) I do think it will be in the far future ;)

  3. Wakame wakame! The Japanese restaurants in Maastricht are pretty stingy with their wakame serving, but luckily we found Euro3.50 per box wakame on the Friday market, bargain! Not sure if they do come from Japan though, they look pretty fresh to me and price is too cheap if they are imported?

    • I never visit the “commercial” Japanese in the centre of Amsterdam and I’ve never visited the (aparently) best and most expensive one (@The Okura) yet either, but in the business district the servings are good and price-quality is great. Have to mention I’ve never went to Japan either though, so perhaps it’s like the for example Chinese or Japanese food over here; adopted for the Dutch to like it. Don’t care, I love it! In Amsterdam I can also find wakame at good fish stores. I’ll ask them where they get it from next time i’ll pass. Even the Albert Heijn sells it, Jumbo as well, but haven’t tried these. There’s a Japanese supermarket on my list to visit soon, looks like everything is imported there so I’ll also check what they ask. Maastricht! Also on my list to visit, never went to the Netherlands oldest city…

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for liking my cauliflower parsley soup recipe!
    I’m a big fan of Wakame. I buy the dried variety here in Brighton and soak it in a little hot water for a few minutes before mixing it into other foods. One of my current favorites is scrambled egg and tofu with wakame and spinach. Makes a great breakfast stuffed into a whole wheat pita or spread over whole wheat toast! Didn’t know it reduces the fat around internal organs, though knew it was supposed to help break down fat.
    Alison

  5. Yeah did the sushi for lunch yesterday again. For me the best meal to fight stress. Makes me happier than chocolate!
    Just browsing some recipes and check what I found; okra used to be favourite vegetable since I’m little and here it’s combined with Wakame!

    http://japanesefood.about.com/od/seaweed/r/Wakame-Okra.htm
    Wakame and Okra with Ume, From Setsuko Yoshizuka, former About.com Guide
    Wakame seaweed and boiled okra are seasoned with sour umeboshi based sauce. It’s a refreshing side dish.
    Yield: 2 side-dish servings
    Ingredients:
    •2 oz. rehydrated and softened wakame seaweed, cut into about 1/2 inch lengths
    •10 small okra
    •1 large umeboshi, the seed removed, finely chopped (As umeboshi vary in saltiness, adjust the amount according to your taste)
    •4 shiso leaves, washed and finely chopped
    •1/2 – 1 tsp soy sauce
    •1 Tbsp dashi soup
    Preparation:
    Bring water to a boil in a medium pan. Add okra and boil until softened. Cool them in cold water and drain well. Cut off the stems and thinly slice boiled okra. Put okra and wakame in a medium bowl. Mix umeboshi and dashi in a small cup. Add soy sauce and shiso and stir well. Put the sauce over okra and wakame and stir well just before serving.

    Must B GR8…

  6. Dried wakame is fun to watch. It looks like a flower blooming as it expands in water.
    Amazing! The first time I tried it, I didn’t believe what a small amount the recipe called for so I dumped in half the package. LOL! We ate and ate and ate…

  7. I buy focuxanthin supplements online and i use it to supplement my cardio routine to burn fats. –

    Newest article coming from our personal blog site
    http://www.melatoninfaq.com/melatonin-supplement/

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