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Wakame – Health and Diet Benefits, with Quick and Easy Recipes

Updated on September 29, 2012
Tako Wakame Salad
Tako Wakame Salad | Source
Plain Wakame with Vegetables
Plain Wakame with Vegetables | Source

Grown in and harvested from the seas of China, Korea, Japan, and even France is a vegetable that can not only make you healthy, it can also make you lean – wakame.

Wakame is actually a Japanese term for this sea vegetable that has become known in many parts of the world.

In Chinese, it is known as qúndài cài.

In Korean, it is called miyeok.

In France, it is recognized as fougère des mers.

English speakers call it sea mustard.

Wakame is an invasive kelp that has also grown in the seas of Australia, New Zealand, United States, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, and Argentina.

Why Wakame is Ideal for Dieters

Wakame is a seaweed or kelp that has become accepted for its usefulness in a well-balanced, sustainable, macrobiotic diet that is non-fad.

Essentially, wakame is very satisfying but low in fats and has only five calories per serving (about two tablespoons).

When you cook it, it expands to a size that is so much bigger than its original size.

Really, it fills up the stomach rather well.

Also, research has shown that wakame has fucoxanthin, a compound that helps break down fats in internal organs.

Because of its fucoxanthin ingredient, wakame has been a preferred food of people who want to maintain their weight, keep obesity at bay, or shed pounds.

How Wakame Benefits Health

Wakame is also great for people who want to fold in natural foods into their diets.

  • It is a powerhouse of calcium and iron, making it a companion of many people who are fighting against osteoporosis and anemia.
  • It has iodine and magnesium.
  • It also has omega-3 fatty acids, about 30 milligrams per two tablespoons.
  • It contains folate and riboflavin.
  • It also contains good amounts of vitamins C, A, E and even K.
  • Best of all, wakame has lignans, which may help prevent the development of certain kinds of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

Ways Wakame is Used in Foods

Wakame is glassy in texture and slightly sweet and salty in taste.

It can be bought dried or salted.

A little wakame does a lot. You see, it swells up when it is cooked so it is quite important to cut it into small portions before cooking.

On its own, it can be eaten as a salad with a small amount of vinegar and sesame seeds.

It can also be used in soups, casseroles, side dishes, and even as ingredients in spring rolls.

Quick Wakame Salad Recipe

Ingredients for Wakame Salad

  • cucumber – 1 small piece; sliced
  • garlic – 1 clove; minced
  • pepper
  • salt
  • scallion – 1 piece; chopped
  • sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
  • sesame seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • soy sauce – 1 tabespoon
  • vinegar – 2 tablespoons
  • wakame – ½ cup; dried

Steps for Preparing Wakame Salad

  1. In a bowl of cold water, soak dried wakame for about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain water.
  3. Cut wakame into small portions.
  4. Place wakame on a plate.
  5. Next, put cucumber on the plate.
  6. Add in scallion and garlic.
  7. Season salad with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix everything well.
  9. Sprinkle sesame on top.
  10. After that, pour vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce on top.
  11. Serve immediately or chill then serve cold.

Easy Wakame with Brown Rice Recipe

Ingredients for Wakame with Brown Rice

  • avocado – 1 medium-sized piece; peeled and diced
  • brown rice – 1 cup
  • pepper
  • salt
  • sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons; toasted
  • wakame - 1 tablespoon; dried; flaked
  • water – 2 1/3 cups
  • water – 2 cups

Steps for Making Wakame with Brown Rice

  1. In a pot set over medium heat, add in brown rice, 2 1/3 cups of water, and salt.
  2. Allow to boil. Make sure not to cover the pot.
  3. Once the water is boiling, lower heat.
  4. Allow water to simmer for 50 minutes. Cover the pot with its lid.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate medium-sized bowl, soak wakame in two cups of water for about five minutes.
  6. Drain the water and set the wakame aside.
  7. Once the brown rice is cooked, mix in wakame, avocado, and sesame seeds.
  8. You can eat this food on its own or you can add in cooked shrimps or fishes for a complete filling meal.

Enjoy your healthy wakame dishes!

Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

Crunchy Wakame Salad Recipe

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      My friend recently suggested this as a way to lose weight and yet maintain a healthy benefit to the body. I have this bookmarked for when I pick this up at the store. Great post, very well written and boost to the healthy lifestyle. Good choice in posting the video to the hub. Voted up.

    • My Nurse Says profile image

      My Nurse Says 5 years ago from Philippines

      Very interesting hub... I am just wondering if this particular seaweed is easily available in the local market? There are other options though, or other varieties of seaweeds in the market and I do agree with the benefits of eating "vegetables from the sea". They are highly nutritious and very diet-friendly. Thanks for the helpful hub..