Wakame is a delicious seaweed often found in soups, salads, and side dishes in Japanese cuisine. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, notably: calcium, magnesium, iodine, riboflavin, folate, vitamins A,C,E,K—all the stuff that's good for the bones, energy production, muscle contraction, iron metabloism, and for pregnant ladies (folate!)
In Korea, Miyeokguk, a seaweed soup, is often served to women as postpartum care. It is strongly believed that it cleanses the blood, contracts the womb, and increases milk production though one should watch out for the high sodium content. Also, wakame has some beneficial components like lignans and fucoxanthins which are linked to lower levels of breast cancer, prevents fat accumulation, and aids in burning fatty tissue.
You can find this cucumber wakame sunomono served as a starter or side dish in many Japanese restaurants. Su is vinegar in Japanese and sunonmono is usually referenced to vinegared dishes. Now you can enjoy this simple recipe at home.
Cucumber Wakame Sunomono
• 1/2 English cucumber or Kyuri (Japanese cucumber)
• 10 grams wakame, dehydrated
• 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• ginger, grated or finely sliced matchsticks (garnish, optional)
To rehydrate your wakame, soak your wakame in a cup of room temperature water for about 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
Cut your cucumber in half lengthwise. Deseed it. Use your mandoline to thinly slice the cucumbers. Add salt and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Drain the water, rinse, and then give the cucumbers a squeeze to get rid of any excess water.
In a small bowl, combine cucumbers and the rehydrated wakame.
Combine your rice vinegar and sugar in a small separate bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Pour the vinegar mix in with the cucumber and wakame, add salt accordingly. Toss and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds or ginger.