Wakame is an edible alga. It is green to dark green in colour. Wakame is usually sold dried. Then it looks black. For preparation, the dried algae must be soaked in lukewarm water for 10 minutes. Sometimes you can buy fresh Wakame preserved in salt in the supermarket. In this case, the algae must of course be thoroughly washed before eating. Wakame tastes quite mild and neutral and is therefore one of the most popular algae species in Japanese cuisine. It is soft, not too tough or rubbery and hardly slimy at all.
How is Wakame eaten?
Wakame is an excellent supplement for soups, for example Miso Shiro (Miso soup), where it provides a "refreshing" taste. Wakame also goes very well with salads such as sunomono (cucumber salad) or tofusalad. Also Abodage and Ofo taste very refreshing in combination with Wakame. The algae is also used for sushi and sashimi because it can be eaten raw without any problems. In sashimi it tastes very good in combination with rice and soy sauce. But sometimes Wakame is also eaten with Shabu Shabu - this is a Japanese fondue version in which a clay pot (hub) is heated with dashi (tuna broth). Then dip the thinly sliced meat or Wakame into the hot broth before eating it. The Wakame must be very fresh.
What is important when preparing Wakame?
If you cook Wakame, for example for soups, you should only do it for a very short time, otherwise the algae will become extremely soft and slimy. Wakame can also only be added to the broth after you have switched it off. Whether you want to cook Wakame at all is a matter of taste!
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