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[Best Answer] Can You Make Dashi with Wakame?

Can You Make Dashi with Wakame?

As you may know, kombu is one of the most famous material for making dashi (soup stock).

Wakame seaweed is similar in shape to this kombu.

Have you ever wondered that if wakame seaweed can be substitute kombu?

Here, please let me answer the question by numbers of umami components!

Amount of Glutamic Acid in Kombu and Wakame

Glutamic acid is, by the way, one of the most common umami component.
What Exactly Is Umami and Top 3 Umami Ingredients

Both kombu and wakame are containing glutamic acid. The amount is below.

Glutamic acid [Amount Per 100g (3.5oz)]
Kombu: 200-3400 mg
Wakame (Dried wakame rehydrated with water): 2-50 mg

(Source: https://www.umamiinfo.com/richfood/)

Although the amount is small, you can see that wakame also contains a certain amount of glutamic acid.

What about dashi (soup stock) made from wakame? Even so, does the umami remain firmly?

▲Dried Wakame

Dashi Made from Kombu / Wakame

There is an experimental result comparing with kombu dashi and wakame dashi.

How

In this experiment, they made 2 types of dashi in the same way.

1. Prepare 2% dried kombu and wakame seaweed to water

2. Soak them in water overnight

3. Heat them to 176℉ (80℃) and make broth while heating

4. Measure the value of glutamic acid with amino acid analyzer

▲The plate on the upper right is wakame

Result

Glutamic acid [Amount Per 100g (3.5oz)]
Kombu dashi: 47mg
Wakame dashi: 0mg

Both of the dashi had great flavor of each material, but glutamic acid could be detected only from the dashi made from kombu.

Conclusion

From this experimental result, they found that wakame is not suitable for dashi stock.
Since ancient times, people have used the wakame not as a soup stock, but as a cooking ingredient. That was a reasonable act, wasn’t it?

(Source: https://umito.maruha-nichiro.co.jp/article48/)

Wakame Seaweed Nutrition

You don’t have to avoid wakame just because you can’t get dashi from it.

The reason why I say it is wakame contains abundant nutrients!

The remarkable nutrients are dietary fiber and mineral.

Dietary fiber

Wakame is rich in water-soluble dietary fiber. The component called “fucoidan” which is the source of the stickiness of wakame is the key. It’s expected to improve immune function and prevent allergies.

Alginic acid which is another dietary fiber is also the source of the stickiness. It’s said that alginic acid is effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Mineral

Minerals such as calcium and potassium are very attractive for you too. Calcium contained wakame is helping to form bones and teeth.

Also, potassium can be expected to be effective in eliminating excessive salt intake and swelling because it works to discharge sodium.

Although wakame can’t be substitute for kombu when making dashi, it contains absolutely wonderful nutrients. So, please try to use some wakame in your cooking.
Making miso soup with it is highly recommended!

If you are interested in proper substitutes for kombu, please check here.
The 6 Best Kombu (Kelp) Substitutes

 

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