"Population Ecology of the Invasive Kelp Undaria pinnatifida in California: Environmental and Biological Controls on Demography." Note the word "invasive": as it turns out, this is the only truly invasive kelp, due to a little resetting of the typical brown kelp's life cycle that gives this seaweed a propitiously timed dormant stage. It arrived in Tasmania in the 1980s; it also infests the coastal waters of New Zealand and Argentina."The likely means of these accidental introductions," according to the website Eat the Invaders (Fighting Invasive Species, One Bite at a Time), "are farmed shellfish imported from Asia, or ballast-water or fouling organisms discharged by international cargo-ships coming from the Far East. [U. pinnatifida] was deliberately introduced in Brittany as a crop in 1983, and then spread to Spain, the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Wakame has been nominated one of the 100 worst invasive species on the Global Invasive Species Database." The only alga on the list, I might add.
|A progression from new recruits to|
young adults, from Monterey Harbor.
here is an account of harvest tours and consumption of the blanched seaweed fresh.) China and Korea also cultivate the seaweed, as demand continues to increase.
I found a recipe for making wakame salad at home. It looks pretty simple. Then again, our excellent sushi place is just down the street. That's even simpler. And you get all sorts of succulent sushi to boot.
Seaweed Salad(ready in 10 minutes; serves 4)
3 Tb rice vinegar (not seasoned)
3 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
red pepper flakes
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tb sesame seeds, toasted
Soak seaweed in warm water to cover, 5 minutes. Drain, rinse then squeeze out excess water. If wakame is uncut, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
Stir together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add the seaweed, scallions, carrots, and cilantro, tossing to combine well. Sprinkle salad with sesame seeds.