Your new favorite side dish: Wakame Seaweed Salad! Bright and punchy with lots of nutrient-dense wakame and crunchy cucumbers. Make this refreshing salad in 10 minutes by rehydrating dried seaweed and combining with sliced cucumbers. A light dressing of rice vinegar and sesame oil makes for a fresh, absolutely addictive salad!
What is Wakame Seaweed Salad?
Wakame Seaweed Salad is a cold seaweed salad. The star ingredient is wakame — a mild-flavored seaweed or sea vegetable that’s nutrient-dense and commonly found in Asian cooking.
Wakame is a type of seaweed that is dark, 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. There’s a subtle sweetness and smooth, slippery texture.
In this salad, the combination of textures and flavors is especially appealing: slippery smooth wakame and crunchy cucumbers. A fresh chili adds just enough heat. With a light, balanced dressing that’s not too heavy — YUM!
Originating from Hawaiian/Japanese/Korean roots, this easy salad is my favorite Asian-inspired seawed salad recipe. Heavy on the seaweed, light on the dressing. And that chili pepper! YUM!
- Dried Seaweed or Wakame. There are many varieties or dried seaweed so look specifically for the label “Wakame.” Look for it in the dried seaweed section at Asian markets.
- Mini Cucumbers. Stays crunchy and fresh.
- Chili Pepper. Adds just the right amount of heat. I use red fresno chilies for the color and flavor. But jalapeno and Korean chilies also work. Even chili flakes are a nice swap if you don’t have fresh ones.
- Rice Vinegar + Sesame Oil + Sugar. The light and fragrant dressing that’s tangy and slightly sweet! The perfect complement to slippery, ruffly wakame.
- Prep dried seaweed. Add dried wakame to a small bowl. Add cold water and set aside until rehydrated, about 5-10 minutes.
- Prep cucumbers. Slice cucumbers. Add salt and scrunch together to combine. Set aside.
- Assemble. Drain wakame and squeeze out excess water. Add salted cucumbers, dressing, chili pepper. Mix until combined.
- Enjoy. Eat room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
Wakame Seaweed Salad is a versatile dish that goes with just about anything. Light, bright, and fresh — I find myself turning to this simple salad again and again.
Where can I find Wakame?
Look for dried wakame at your local Asian grocery store. Sometimes, it can also be found at regular grocery stores in the ethnic or international food aisle. Wakame usually comes in a small bag, next to the instant miso soup packets.
How do I store Wakame Seaweed Salad?
Store in the fridge, tightly sealed, for 3-5 days.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! Wakame Seaweed Salad keeps very well in the fridge and tastes great chilled. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days in advance. When it’s time to serve, transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!
More easy sides:
- Soy Sauce Quail Eggs
- Korean Potato Salad (Gamja Salad)
- Spicy Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
- Air Fryer Panko Tofu
Wakame Seaweed Salad
- 4 mini cucumbers
- 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
- Prep dried seaweed. In a large bowl, add dried wakame. Add 2 cups cold water and soak for 10 minutes. The wakame will swell and rehydrate until soft enough to eat.
- Prep cucumbers. Thinly slice cucumbers in 1/4-inch rounds. Add to a medium bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and mix the cucumbers and salt together with your hands, scrunching the cucumbers a little. Set aside.
- Assemble. In a large bowl, add the rehydrated wakame. Make sure to drain and gently squeeze out excess water. Do not rinse the wakame! Add sliced cucumbers, squeezing out excess liquid. Add fresno chili pepper, if using.
- Add dressing. Add rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil directly on top of the cucumbers and wakame. Gently mix together until well combined.
- Enjoy. Transfer salad to a serving bowl, leaving behind any excess liquid. Serve room temperature or chilled. The salad should last 4-5 days, refrigerated.
- Look for dried wakame at your local Asian grocery store. Sometimes, it can also be found at regular grocery stores in the ethnic or international food aisle. Wakame usually comes in a small bag, next to the instant miso soup packets.
- Wakame Seaweed Salad keeps very well in the fridge and tastes great chilled. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days in advance. When it’s time to serve, transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!