Mozuku is a unique variety of brown seaweed grown only in the waters surrounding Okinawa. Popular in Japanese cuisine, mozuku has been farmed for more than 35 years and is believed to be one of the secrets behind Okinawa’s high life expectancy. What’s more, it also makes for a tasty side dish!
Mozuku is well-known for its many health benefits. Most notably, it contains anexceptionally high level of fucoidan, an antimicrobial substance that helps to cleanse the intestines and enhance immunity. Studies even suggest that fucoidan has anticoagulant and tumor-suppressant properties, both of which prevent the formation of cancer cells. Moreover, it is high in insoluble dietary fiber, meaning that it will keep you feeling full despite containing only four calories per 100 grams. Additionally, it is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, amino acids, and vitamin K. All these qualities make mozuku a true superfood!
As an ingredient, mozuku has a light taste and stringy, snappy texture. Highly versatile, it can be consumed raw or cooked as well as hot or cold. Traditionally, mozuku is dressed in a simple vinegar-based sauce and served as an appetizer, side dish, or palate cleanser. Another popular preparation is battering and frying mozuku to make tempura.
In our recipe, we go the traditional route and season reconstituted mozuku with a sauce made from grated ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Fragrant and lightly sweet, this recipe is a refreshing way to eat this highly nutritious, quintessentially Okinawan ingredient.
- 100g mozuku (roughly 2.5g of Dried Mozuku reconstituted in water and drained)
- 1 piece ginger (~10g)
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- ½ tbsp soy sauce*
- ½ tbsp sugar
- Soak the Dried Mozuku in water to reconstitute then drain.
- Julienne a few slices from the ginger to use as a garnish at the end. Grate the remaining.
- Combine all the ingredients for the sanbaizu sauce in a small bowl. Add the grated ginger.
- Split the mozuku in 2-3 bowls and pour the sanbaizu on top in equal portions. Top with the sliced ginger and serve.
*Available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining “Wa” Care Package
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.