Your new summer staple: Wakame Seaweed Salad! Bright, punchy, fresh with lots of nutrient dense wakame and crunchy cucumbers.
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!
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 Seaweed Salad?
Wakame Seaweed Salad is a cold salad made from cucumbers and wakame — a nutrient-dense, mild-flavored seaweed that’s commonly found in Asian cooking.
Wakame is much loved 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. There’s a subtle sweetness and smooth, slippery texture.
Originating from Hawaiian/Japanese/Korean roots, this easy salad is an Asian-inspired summer staple in my house. Heavy on the seaweed, light on the dressing. And that chili pepper! YUM!
- Dried Wakame. A pantry staple that lasts forever. Add cold water to rehydrate.
- 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.
- Sugar + Rice Vinegar + Sesame Oil. The light and fragrant dressing that’s tangy and slightly sweet! The perfect complement to slippery, ruffly wakame.
- Soak wakame in cold water until rehydrated, about 5-10 minutes.
- Salt sliced cucumbers.
- Drain wakame and squeeze out excess water. Add salted cucumbers, dressing, chili pepper. Mix until combined. Eat room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
What do I eat with Wakame Seaweed Salad?
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.
Serve alongside rich, meaty mains:
- LA Galbi
- Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings
- Asian Pork Riblets
- Korean Fried Chicken
- Cheese Buldak
- Osam Bulgogi (Squid + Pork Belly Bulgogi)
Or serve alongside other tasty sides:
- Soy Sauce Quail Eggs
- Oi Muchim (Cucumber Salad)
- Spicy Soba Noodles
- Dubu Jorim (Braised Tofu)
- Air Fryer Panko Tofu
Or enjoy in rice bowls:
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.
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!
Wakame Seaweed Salad
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, leaving behind any excess liquid. Serve room temperature or chilled. The salad should last 4-5 days, refrigerated.