Wakame (Alaria esculenta) aka "winged kelp"
Wakame grows along the low tide line of exposed ledges in areas with heavy surf, and is one of the more difficult seaweeds to harvest, as it requires working directly in the midst of incoming waves. Care is taken to harvest only the young first-year plants, allowing the older plants to remain and reproduce, ensuring continued regeneration of the population and future harvests.
Wakame can be rehydrated and sautéed alone or with other vegetables, cooked, chilled, and added to salads, or cut in its dry form and added to soups and stews. It pairs well with leeks, scallions, asparagus, kale, spinach, potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, tofu, tempeh, bean soups, and a wide variety of other veggies.
Unlike Japanese wakame, which is typically parboiled before being dried, our wakame is dried immediately after harvest to retain its full nutritional value, and requires a longer cooking time to become tender.
Wakame is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, iodine, trace minerals and vitamin A.