Kuki Wakame : A Classic Japanese Wakame Seaweed Snack
Edible seaweed is an essential food material in Japanese cuisine, and when I think of such seaweed, what come to mind right away are “Kombu (昆布)”, “Mozuku (もずく)“, and “Wakame (わかめ)”, for each of them is often used in Japanese dishes.
Especially, Kombu and Wakame are the species of edible seaweed most familiar to us Japanese. Not only do we commonly use them as ingredients in dishes, but in Japan, many snack foods made with them are available in supermarkets.
When it comes to the seaweed snack made of Kombu, or edible kelp, I think Nakano Miyako Kombu is the most famous product in Japan, while, regarding the snack food made of Wakame seaweed, Kuki Wakame is widely known to Japanese as a classic seaweed snack.
Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ)
“Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ)” (Amazon.com) is a Japanese snack food made using the core part of Wakame leaves. Actually, the word “Kuki (茎)” means “Stem” in Japanese, and as you can guess from that, the Wakame seaweed snack features a pleasant crunchy texture that everyone comes to like.
When you slit the package open and take out the contents, these individually packed Kuki Wakame snacks appear. They are moist because Kuki Wakame is made by flavoring blanched Wakame seaweed with a vinegar sauce. Hence, this Japanese seaweed snack is somewhat vinegary, yet easy to eat.
In Japan, Kuki Wakame is particularly popular among women, because it has little calories, but is high in nutritional value. Specifically, the seaweed snack is rich in dietary fiber and contains lots of alginic acid.
As mentioned above, the main ingredient of the Kuki Wakame snack is blanched salted raw Wakame seaweed, which is flavored mainly with Ume plum vinegar, brewed vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Other ingredients include fermented seasoning, protein hydrolysate (soybean, wheat), acidifier, sorbitol, amino acid, calcium lactate, and flavoring.
I think Kuki Wakame is quite easy to eat compared to the quintessential Kombu snack “Nakano Miyako Kombu”, because the Wakame seaweed snack is less vinegary and has more umami.
In fact, Kuki Wakame is one of the classic seaweed snacks that have long been loved in Japan, so it is available in many supermarkets.
|Natori Kuki Wakame|