New Zealand Wakame Leaves have a mild flavour and pleasing texture. Classified as a ‘brown seaweed’, Wakame is also called 'Asian Kelp' and is not native to NZ . Easy to prepare, nutritious and versatile, it suits both Asian & Western type dishes. As a result, it has built a reputation as one of the sweeter tasting sea vegetable. It is widely used in miso soup & for seaweed salads and has been enjoyed in Asia for centuries. Pacific Harvest carries 2 varieties of Wakame, NZ Wild Leaves and Farmed. We harvest our NZ Wakame Leaves by hand and dry them whole to suit a wide range of culinary applications.
We harvest our NZ Wakame leaves sustainably from the wild in NZ North Island and we dry them naturally to preserve all their nutritional quality. The white powder that covers the surface of the dried leaves is called ‘Umami’, a Japanese word to describe the 'fifth taste'. Umami is actually an amino-acid that rises to the surface of the plant as it dries; chefs prize it for its ability to naturally enhance & balance flavours in a dish.
Our NZ Wild Wakame Leaves are harvested in the North Island of New Zealand and are tested for contaminants.
Download your NZ Wild Wakame Recipe Brochure
Wakame is one of the most popular & most delicious seaweed you can have. It is incredibly versatile and can be easily re-constituted back to its original state in a matter of minutes (5-10 minutes in tepid water). The dried leaves will also recover their natural khaki colour upon re-hydration, and expand considerably, roughly 5 times. The texture is silky & visually appealing and its delicate taste makes it easy to include in a variety of dishes. Whether you are into the traditional miso soup, Asian soups or salad, our NZ Wakame will ‘make’ the dish because of its great flavour. Wakame is also delicious in more western-type preparations like vegetable stir-fry, Tofu salads and potato cakes. It makes for succulent baked fish when used as a wrap. A cousin of the Atlantic seaweed Alaria, it is suited to the same applications. It is also similar to spinach or other green leafy vegetables in the way it can be used.
Health & Nutrition
Wakame is highly recommended in the Macrobiotic diet because of its highly alkaline qualities. In Japanese folk medicine, it is known to cleanse and strengthen of the blood and is often given to people recovering from disease or childbirth. Wakame is very nutritious: an excellent source of minerals (esp. calcium, manganese, iron & magnesium), a good source of iodine, vegetarian protein, dietary fibre, essential amino acids and many vitamins (A, C, K, B complex). Wakame also helps omega fatty acid balance by being an excellent source of Omega 3s. To keep the nutrients intact, just soak the dry seaweed in tepid water or add at the very end to a warm dish.
Label & Warnings
NZ Wild Wakame will keep for years when kept dry and away from light. The leaves will expand about 5 times upon re-hydration; soak only what you need as shelf life is short after reconstitution (1-2 days in the fridge).