Thursday, November 18, 2010
Today's plant: Wakame
Used in: Manhattan Glam Chowder from Appetite for Reduction
Wakame is a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. It has a subtly sweet flavour and is most often served in soups and salads. Sea-farmers have grown wakame for hundreds of years in Japan and Korea and it has been nominated as among 100 of the world's worst invasive species according to the Global Invasive Species Database. Japanese and Korean sea-farmers have grown wakame for centuries and they still are the main producers and eaters. Since 1985 wakame is also cultivated in France, in sea fields established near the shores of Brittany. Wild grown wakame is harvested in Tasmania, Australia, and then sold in restaurants in Sydney.
This thick soup is supposed to resemble Manhattan clam chowder, which I've never tasted. It's thick, tomatoey and full of veggie goodness. The fishiness is subtle. It's really nice with crackers crumbled in (rather than sitting on top like Cookie Monster's eyes, as seen above). It's super easy and fast to prepare and makes a great week night dinner soup.
Depressing related fact: there are 105 species of endangered clams.