Similar to the kombu seaweed, wakame kelp is another variety of brown algae that is commonly consumed in Japan. It has a distinctively strong flavor and is often incorporated into soups, broths and salads. Most people are familiar with wakame kelp as it is often used in miso soup, a Japanese dish found in virtually every sushi or Japanese cuisine restaurant.
Wakame can also aid in lowering the chances of developing sex-hormone related disease, as well as fighting off obesity.
A study published by the American Chemical Society found that brown seaweed and kelp, like wakame, contain a compound that promotes weight loss. The compound fucoxanthin successfully promoted weight loss by reducing the accumulation of abdominal fat in obese rats and mice. Fucoxanthin produces a brown pigment, which gives the species of brown algae its name, and is only found in large quantities in species of brown algae. It is believed that the compound interacts with the protein UCP1 to stimulate fat oxidation, which, to put it simply, is the conversion of energy to heat.
Essentially, the proteins found within wakame promote the burning of fat cells, especially abdominal fat.
Fucoxanthin also causes the liver to produce DHA, a compound similar to omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol.”
- 4 ounces wakame seaweed, dried
- Water to soak wakame
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free organic tamari sauce
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free Asian sweet chili sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons organic coconut sugar
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Rinse the wakame and place in a bowl. Cover with water. Soak wakame for 5 minutes, until soft. Drain well and squeeze out any remaining water. Slice wakame into thin strips.
Whisk all remaining ingredients (except the sesame seeds) in a large serving bowl. Add the wakame strips and toss until coated. Divide salad onto serving plates. Top each plate with sesame seeds.
Serving size: Serves 6.