Seaweeds are an often overlooked vegetable, but they offer a host of nutritional benefits and a wide range of flavors and textures.
Wakame is a lightweight, almost fluffy sea green that’s high in magnesium, iron, calcium, iodine, and many other vitamins. It has a pleasant, almost creamy texture that can be used in combination with greens or grains. I find that wakame is a very good introduction level seaweed since it doesn’t have a strong ‘fishy’ taste, and works well in a variety of recipes. It’s a very mild, almost sweet sea vegetable that is most at home in soups and stir-fries, but you can also chop and toss into salads.
Wakame is usually found dried, either in packages or in bulk bins (if you live near an excellent natural foods store). It also tends to be a bit less expensive that other seaweeds, so that’s pretty cool too!
To use wakame, rehydrate about a half cup of wakame in about one cup of warm water. Let it stand for about five minutes; taste and make sure it’s soft, then chop and add to your finished meal, or cool for the last few minutes in a stir-fries or soup. The Barley Miso Soup recipe below is a great way to try it out.
Barley Miso Soup
4-6 cups water
¼ cup thinly sliced onions
¼ cup thinly sliced carrots
¼ cup barley miso
1 cup wakame
1 cup cooked grains (leftover rice, quinoa, barley, etc)
1 cups sliced greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
Fresh lemon and toasted sesame oil for garnish
- Bring water to a boil. Add onions and carrots and bring to a low boil. Let simmer until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix miso with a few tablespoons water and stir until smooth.
- Reduce heat to low on soup, and stir in miso, wakame, and cooked grains. Simmer at a very low heat (do not boil) for five more minutes.
- Add greens just before serving, and stir to wilt. Before serving, squeeze lemon and drop in a bit of toasted sesame oil for extra flavor.
Yield: 2 servings
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