Kuki Wakame: A Classic Japanese Seaweed Snack
Edible seaweed is an essential part of Japanese cuisine, and when I think of such seaweed, what comes to my mind right away is “kombu (昆布)”, “mozuku (もずく)“, and “wakame (わかめ)”, for each of them is often used in Japanese cooking.
Especially, kombu and wakame are the species of edible seaweed most familiar to us Japanese. Not only do we commonly use them in dishes, but in Japan, many snacks made with them can be seen in supermarkets.
When it comes to the snack made of kombu, or edible kelp, I’d say Nakano Miyako Kombu is the most famous product in Japan, while, regarding the Japanese treat made of wakame, the classic seaweed snack Kuki Wakame is most widely enjoyed.
Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ)
“Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ)” is a Japanese seaweed snack made using the core part of wakame leaves as the word “Kuki (茎)” means “stem” in Japanese. As you can guess from that, the seaweed snack is especially characterized by its pleasant crunchy texture that everyone can like.
Kuki Wakame is a bite-size, small rectangle piece of blanched wakame that has been flavored with a dashi-rich vinegar sauce. It is tender and wet, somewhat vinegary, but umami-rich and thus easy to eat.
In Japan, Kuki Wakame is particularly popular among women because it has few calories but is high in nutritional value. Specifically, the seaweed snack is rich in dietary fiber and contains lots of alginic acids.
Ingredients and Calories
As I mentioned above, the main ingredient of the Japanese seaweed snack Kuki Wakame is blanched, salted wakame, which, based on the pictured list, is seasoned mainly with Ume plum vinegar, brewed vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Other ingredients include fermented seasoning, protein hydrolysate (soybean, wheat), acidifier, sorbitol, amino acids, calcium lactate, and flavoring, and the calories per 100 grams are 112 kcal.
Kuki Wakame vs Nakano Miyako Kombu (Su Konbu)
I think Kuki Wakame is easy to eat compared to the quintessential Japanese kombu snack “Nakano Miyako Kombu (Sukonbu)” because the wakame seaweed snack is less vinegary and has more umami.