Living in Asia is common to use Wakame Salad and other sea vegetables. I first made this salad for my friends some time back, who did not know much of algae benefits. Today everyone knows what sushi is, and Nori algae are very familiar to most of us. One of the reasons is that George Ohsawa’s contribution to the study on the Macrobiotic lifestyle has helped spread the knowledge about algaes
Minerals in algaes are arranged in a signal layered atomic structure easily absorbable by our body. These high concentrations of minerals in sea vegetables such as iron and iodine are excellent to maintain and stimulate functions of the thyroid gland. When eaten regularly and in small quantities, alongside some exercise practicing yoga postures, goiters can improve without the need for radical medical intervention. You can also alleviate Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism by doing this, along with a sentient diet. This will re-establish a balanced secretion of thyroid hormones in the body and improve the body’s metabolism in general.
Algae also contain Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide present in most species of brown seaweed such as wakame, kombu, hijiki, Mizuki, Irish moss, arame, dulse, nori, and bladderwrack. An alternate form of fucoidan can also be found in the sea cucumber. Experiments done on human colon cancer cells have shown fucoidan’s capacity to induce cancerous cells’ selective apoptosis (cell suicide). This is one reason why Okinawans in Japan have survived the nuclear crisis and were able to recover from cancer.
Unfortunately, today our seas and oceans are severely contaminated by mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, etc… therefore, algae are better purchased from a reliable and certified source. Besides, nowadays, it is better to purchase algae from the Atlantic sea, as they are still unaffected by Fukushima radiation (unlike those from the Pacific).
This recipe is really something that you can add to your weekly lunch or dinner menu. Aside from the health benefits of Wakame, this salad is so flavorful and filled to the brim with umami. See the recipe below to know how to make this simple salad.
- 1 tbsp of dry wakame
- 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp of roasted sesame seeds crushed
- 1 tsp of Sambal Olek (optional)
In a bowl, soak the dry wakame for ten to fifteen minutes in water to reconstitute until they are soft.
Blanch the wakame in boiling water to further soften it.
Immediately place the blanched wakame in cold water or an ice bath to improve its color.
Drain the excess water and place the wakame in a bowl.
Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and honey in a bowl.
Sambal olek can be added into the sauce or separately for guests who cannot handle the heat.
Add the wakame, mixing the algae well.
Serve on a plate and sprinkle some crushed sesame seeds (gomasio)
Do not add soy sauce or oil to the boiling water as it will prevent the algae from absorbing getting soft. Dried wakame and different algae can be found in Asian stores and most health food shops. This salad goes well with chilled tossed noodles, stir fry rice and mixed vegetables. You can cook healthy salads from much different variety of algae.