Mekabu Seaweed: Health Benefits and Easy Recipes
When it comes to Japanese vinegared dishes or “Sunomono (酢の物)”, I sometimes eat Sanbaizu sauce dressed Mozuku seaweed called “Mozukusu (もずく酢)” at home.
“Mozuku (もずく)” is one of the edible seaweeds that has been a favorite in Japan, and “Mekabu (めかぶ)”, a species of seaweed similar to Mozuku, is also that kind of food.
“Mekabu (芽かぶ)” is the part of wakame seaweed that looks kind of like the cone of a pine tree, specifically right above the roots.
In Japan, Mekabu seaweed is available in 2 forms at supermarkets, fresh and dried. And thin strips of dried Mekabu are known as “Mehibi (めひび)”.
Mekabu is a healthy, nutritious, low-calorie food. The primary nutrients contained in the seaweed are fucoidan and algin acid.
According to this Japanese site, the health benefits of Mekabu seaweed include the following.
- The fucoidan in Mekabu activates cells and helps boost the immune system to fight against the germs of cold and influenza. It also activates hair matrix cells, making the hair healthy and beautiful.
- The algin acid in Mekabu improves the conditions of the stomach and intestines and promotes defecation.
- The potassium in the algin acid absorbs salt in the body, helping lower blood pressure and control the rise of blood glucose levels.
- The iodine in Mekabu boosts the metabolism.
- Mekabu is rich in calcium which prevents osteoporosis.
In the case of using dried Mekabu like Mehibi, as preparation, you need to, before cooking,
- Lightly remove salt on the surface by rinsing.
- Put the seaweed strips in a bowl of plenty of water (cold or hot) and leave for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Drain the water and give the strips a good stir until slimy.
The sliminess comes from water-soluble dietary fibers such as fucoidan and algin acid.
Other typical uses include
- Eating natto with the seaweed strips.
- Using them in noodle soups such as udon and soba.
- Using them in vegetable salads.