Wakame vs. Kuki Wakame vs. Mekabu: Japanese Seaweed

As Japanese food is getting popular overseas, the recognition of commonly eaten seaweeds in Japan is also increasing.

Among them, I think Wakame and Kombu (kelp) are well known, but how about Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ) and Mekabu (めかぶ)?

Wakame vs. Kuki Wakame vs. Mekabu

Wakame Kuki Wakame Mekabu Parts

To get to the point, Kuki Wakame and Mekabu are both parts of the seaweed Wakame.

As the illustration shows, the leaves are called Wakame, the stem is Kuki Wakame (Kuki or 茎 means stem in Japanese), and the area right above the roots is known as Mekabu.

Wakame (わかめ)


Among these three, Wakame is the most consumed. It is a healthy, low-calorie food with a slightly sweet, salty taste and satiny texture.

We commonly use the leaves in salads, Sunomono (vinegared dishes), and soup dishes, such as miso soup, ramen, and Suimono (clear soup).

Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ)

Kuki Wakame

The stem part, Kuki Wakame, features a pleasantly crunchy texture, and we enjoy the crunchiness.

In Japanese culinary culture, it is often used in Nimono (simmered dishes), Itamemono (fried dishes), and Tsukemono (pickles), even seen in snacks.

Mekabu (めかぶ)


After boiling, the area above the roots, Mekabu, turns green and produces sliminess. 

It is low-calorie but rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber (including alginic acid and fucoidan), potassium, iodine, and calcium. 

Mekabu is also pleasantly crunchy, typically shredded and seasoned with Sanbaizu or Tentsuyu sauce, and sometimes eaten with Natto.

(Reference Page: weathernews.jp )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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