Wakame (Undaria Pinnatifida)
It is prolific around the coast of Japan. It is an annual sea vegetable which grows on rocks as deep as 3-10 meters in the sea. The average length is 1-2 meters. The gathering season starts from February and peaks in May. Most commercialized salt-soaked Wakame and cut Wakame undergo a boiling process; therefore, they have less nutritional value and characteristic Wakame flavor. MUSO's wakame, on the other hand, is dried under the sun; therefore, it retains more of its nutritional value as well as the original Wakame flavor. MUSO offers various Wakame products: "Wakame Type B" is covered with more high mineral salt after sun drying and "Instant Wakame" which is cut small making it is easier to use. It is the best natural food product for people with high blood pressure, because it contains a rich amount of alginic acid that discharges sodium from the body.
Wakame has the smell of the sea and a dark green color. Wakame is best cooked by lightly seasoning in order to bring out its distinct characteristics. The most common way of cooking Wakame is in miso soup. Wakame adds an extra dimension to the miso soup flavor, but also discharges sodium from the body; Wakame doubles its effectiveness in miso soup. Besides miso soup, Wakame is suited for steamed vegetables, salads, and so on. Wakame will be dark green and softer if you boil it lightly after soaking in water. It is important to soak and boil it quickly; otherwise, the texture and the flavor will be poor. When used in soup or steamed dishes, the flavor will be poor if you boil for too long. Also, boiling for too long changes wakame's color to brown. When used in miso soup, it is best to add at the end of cooking time. When used in vinegared dishes, add wakame last. Then the color and the flavor will be maintain
Miso soup with Wakame