Undaria Pinnatifida 

 Other common names:  Sea Mustard 


Wakame is highly valued both as a food source and for its range of pharmaceutical properties. It is dark green and velvety in appearance. Mature plants grow between 1-3 m in length and consist of large, delicate blades, often deeply divided into ruffled wing-like blades that sit just above the holdfast. Wakame has a distinctive thick and flat stem or midrib that runs along the length of the frond. Mature Wakame has a distinct frill at the base of its stem which is not found on younger plants.


Wakame can be found growing on the low tidal marks down to about 3-5 m in depth. It prefers sheltered areas of coastline and does not grow well in exposed areas as it needs an anchor point. It is often found in the cooler waters of bays, ports and harbours. It has adapted to growing in areas where there are human structures such as boat moorings and aquaculture lines. Often lush growths will be found near freshwater outlets.


Wakame is prolific and grows most rapidly in the winter months. It is native to cold, temperate coastal areas. The fronds tend to deteriorate over summer.


Wakame has a very soft, silky, smooth texture with a tasty, rich, sweet flavour. It is not as salty as other seaweeds.
When picked fresh, Wakame will keep for up to three days before deteriorating. Store in an air-tight container to avoid reabsorption of any moisture. It can also be pickled and smoked.

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