Wakame Seaweed Salad

Your new summer staple: Wakame Seaweed Salad!

I love a good salad. And this one is especially good.

It’s the combination of textures and flavors that does it for me: slippery smooth wakame, crunchy cucumbers. With a fresh chili (just enough heat!) and a light, balanced dressing that’s not too heavy — YUM!

If you’ve never eaten Wakame Seaweed Salad, think of it as a salad with seaweed as a base instead of lettuce. Originating from Hawaiian/Japanese/Korean roots, it’s become an Asian-inspired summer staple in my house. There are different versions out there but this is mine. Heavy on the seaweed, light on the dressing. And that chili pepper!

Not surprisingly, I’ve been obsessively eating this — morning, noon, and night. So good with avocado and leftover chicken. Great as a salad base for rice bowls. Perfection with grilled meats. Really, it’s become my favorite new side that goes with just about everything. I hope you love it as much as I do!!

What is wakame?

Wakame is a nutrient-dense, mild-flavored seaweed that’s commonly found in Korean and Japanese cooking.

Wakame is much loved in Asian cooking because it’s thin and delicate with fluttery, ruffled edges. There’s not much thickness or chew. Instead, a slightly rumpled texture makes for a very pleasant eating experience. I love its subtle sweetness and smooth, slippery texture.

Typically, wakame is sold in dehydrated form. But don’t be intimidated! Soak in hot water and drain, making sure to squeeze out the excess liquid. It’s really that easy.

I always have wakame on hand to throw into Miso Soup and now, to make this salad. A pantry staple that lasts forever!

Where can I find Wakame?

Look for wakame at your local Asian grocery store. I’ve also found it in the international aisle at big box grocery stores and online. Wakame usually comes in a small bag, in dehydrated form.

What do I eat with Wakame Seaweed Salad?

Amazingly, Wakame Seaweed Salad is a versatile dish that goes with just about anything. Eaten as a side or main, I’ve found myself turning to this simple salad again and again.

Some main dish recommendations:

Or serve with other tasty sides:

Or enjoy in rice bowls:

How to make Wakame Seaweed Salad

Soak wakame with cold water.

Thinly slice and salt cucumbers. Set aside.

Drain wakame and squeeze out excess water. Add salted cucumbers. Add dressing + fresno chili pepper and mix until combined. Eat room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

wakame seaweed salad in bowl

Wakame Seaweed Salad

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Your new summer staple: Wakame Seaweed Salad.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Soaking Time 10 mins
Course Salad, Side
Cuisine Asian, Fusion Food
Servings 4 as side


  • 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup/30g dried wakame
  • 1 red fresno chili pepper, sliced (optional)


  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


  • Add thinly sliced cucumbers to a medium bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and mix with hands, scrunching the cucumbers a little. Set aside.
    sliced cucumbers in bowl
  • In a large bowl, place dried wakame. Add 2 cups cold water and soak for 10 minutes. The wakame will swell and rehydrate until soft enough to eat.
    rehydrated wakame in bowl
  • After the wakame rehydrates, drain and gently squeeze out excess water. Do not rinse the wakame! Add cucumbers, squeezing out excess liquid. Add fresno chili pepper, if using. Add rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Gently mix together until well combined.
    wakame seaweed salad in white bowl
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, leaving behind any excess liquid. Serve room temperature or chilled. The salad should last 4-5 days, refrigerated.
    wakame seaweed salad in grey bowl
Keyword Salad, Seaweed, Wakame
30 minutes, All Recipes, Asian Inspired, Dinner with Friends, Potluck, Salad, Side, Weeknight Meals

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