Wakame

Wild Atlantic Wakame Alaria esculenta

Wakame grows along the low tide line of exposed ledges in areas with heavy surf, and is one of the more difficult seaweeds to harvest, as it requires working directly in the midst of incoming waves. Care is taken to harvest only the young first-year plants, allowing the older plants to remain and continue producing spores, ensuring continued regeneration of the population and future harvests.

Wakame can be sautéed alone or with other vegetables, cooked, chilled, and added to salads, or cut in its dry form and added to soups and stews. It pairs well with leeks, scallions, asparagus, kale, spinach, potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, tofu, tempeh, bean soups, and a wide variety of other veggies.

Unlike Japanese wakame, which is typically parboiled before being dried, our wakame is dried immediately after harvest to retain its full nutritional value, and requires a slightly longer cooking time to become tender.

Wakame is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, iodine, trace minerals and vitamin A.

All seaweeds are inspected before packaging for shells and shell fragments, but please keep an eye out for any that may still be attached.

Cucumber Wakame Salad

1-2 cups of dried wakame

2 cucumbers

3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

3 TBSP maple syrup or honey

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup walnuts or roasted pumpkin seeds

2 TBSP sesame seeds

Pinch of cayenne pepper

 Simmer the wakame in just enough water to cover for 20-25 minutes until tender. While the seaweed is cooking, peel the cucumbers and slice into thin half moons, mix in the remaining ingredients, and set aside. When the seaweed is ready, cut into 1/2” pieces, add to the mix, and refrigerate to cool. This salad can be eaten immediately, but will be even better if cooked in advance and allowed some time for the flavors to infuse.

 

Miso Soup

Add 1/4 cup dry wakame cut with scissors per quart of water and bring to a boil. Cover, and turn the heat to low. Add chopped carrots, leeks, onions, greens, celery, etc.

according to their individual cooking times, and simmer till tender. For especially tender wakame, cook an additional 10 minutes before adding other veggies. Remove from the heat when cooked to desired tenderness,  add one TBSP of miso per quart of water, and serve.

Wakame with Garlic, Onions, and Ginger

About 6 cups (3 oz) wakame

2 large onions or leeks cut into half moons

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tsp finely chopped or grated ginger

2 TBSP lemon juice

Black pepper to taste

Butter or Olive Oil

Simmer the wakame in just enough water to cover for 20-25 minutes until tender. While the seaweed is cooking, heat a few TBSP of oil or butter in a pan, add the onions, and cook over medium high heat until brown. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cook for a few moments. Add the seaweed and lemon juice, stir, and remove from heat.

Other vegetables may be included, either steamed with the seaweed or sautéed with the onions, added according to their individual cooking times.

Storage

Stored in an airtight container, away from direct light and high temperatures, seaweed will keep for years. The appearance of white powder on the fronds is the result of exposure to humidity, which causes salts and sugars to precipitate to the surface, and is not an indication of spoilage.

When seaweed is cooked or re-hydrated in water, the water retains valuable minerals, trace elements, and iodine. If not using the water in the final dish it can be  used as cooking water for rice or beans, frozen and kept for stock, or used to water plants.