Wakame Sumashijiru


Why was the sand wet?

Because the sea-weed!!!

Let’s hope the recipe is better than the joke eh šŸ™‚ Aside from my little weekend road trip into the mountains, I’ve mostly been living at the beach this month. Each morning, running along the shore, there’s a ton of fresh seaweed which has washed up onto the rocks. I was asking my friend ‘forager Chris’ if its okay to eat. He explained it’s most probably a type of sea lettuce and freshly collected from rocks it would be safe and good to eat. There are no known poisonous seaweeds off the UK coast. If it interests you Chris runs UK coastal foraging courses. Find out more here;

http://www.tastethewild.co.uk/courses-coastal.html

The reason seaweed fascinates me – I’m re-reading a really interesting book at the moment called ‘Healing with Wholefoods’ by Paul Pritchard. It explores modern nutrition advice and ancient Asian traditions. The book is huge. It’s a food and wellness bible and I love it. There’s so much information to take from it, I could read it a million times over. Here’s a link to the book if you’re interested;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Healing-Whole-Foods-Traditions-Nutrition/dp/1556434308

Part of the book explores calcium and the dairy connection, something which has always fascinated me. In Asia – certainly traditionally – consumption of dairy was rare … yet osteoporosis was unheard of. Yet in Western culture where we’re all encouraged to eat dairy – for calcium – for strong bones … it’s a common complaint. Paul Pritchard explores the calcium connection, whether it’s calcium we lack at all or other elements required by our body’s to make use of calcium. And indeed whether dairy (in it’s current manufactured form) really is the very best source.

Seaweed is in fact a much better option to give your body theĀ calcium it needs. Far better than any other food on the planet.

100g of dried wakame for example contains 1300mg of calcium. Compared to 119mg found in milk that’s pretty astounding. In fact parsley (203mg) almonds (233mg) and watercress (151mg) although nowhere near seaweed in terms of calcium content, are all better sources than milk! Dairy can be a huge problem for acne sufferers, often down to the hormones and trace antibiotics within it. So if you’re looking to heal spots and keep your calcium levels up, seaweed is most definitely top of the shopping list, followed by almonds, parsley and watercress.

WHERE TO BUY?

Dried seaweed is now available in most whole-food stores, most definitely online and in some of the bigger supermarkets too. I found dried Wakame here in Carrefour Spain. HereĀ is a Tesco version for example;

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=276786211

WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?

If you think it would taste like a plant that’s come out of the sea … you’d be absolutely spot on. That’s pretty much what it tastes like. Is it nice? Well some seaweeds are stronger than others, so pick the least strong if you’re unsure. I like the taste of it in Japanese style soups which is what I’m using this little lot for.

Ingredients (makes 2 bowls)

1 litre water

2 rounded tbsp vegetable bouillon

1 portion udon noodles – dried flat (try these if you avoid gluten)

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 chunk ginger thinly sliced

1/2 tsp Chinese five spice

2 tsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp honey

8 shiitake mushrooms

8 florets broccoli

4 chopped spring onions

2-6 tbsp wakame seaweed (see how you go with the taste – add more or less as preferred)

HERE’S HOW

Boil the water in a pan. Once boiling, simmer and add the bouillon

Add the garlic, ginger, five spice, tamari and honey and simmer for 5 minutes

Add the noodles and simmer for 1 minute until they start to soften

Add the mushrooms, broccoli and spring onions and simmer for another 5 minutes

Stir in the seaweed and simmer for another minute or two. Then allow to stand for a couple of minutes before serving

 

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