Is Seaweed Salad Healthy?


Learn the ingredients of seaweed salad and it’s nutritional breakdown 

Seaweed salad, also known as hiyashi wakame and goma wakame, is a very popular salad served in sushi bars and Japanese restaurants.  It can be found as an appetizer as well as a garnish and has enjoyed success as a cross over ingredient in many types of restaurants serving seafood. The salad’s growing popularity in Manhattan in the nineties coined it the “coleslaw of the nineties.”


Diners often turn to this delicious green salad as a healthy appetizer. Though wakame seaweed has a host of health benefits, the product served in restaurants is almost always a pre-packaged, seasoned product. As a pre-packaged and often frozen product, people often wonder what’s in seaweed salad and is it really good for you?


Ingredients in Seaweed Salad

Seaweed salad is most commonly sesame flavored and the wakame seaweed is not surprisingly seasoned with sesame oil as well as sesame seeds. Other seasoning components are red pepper flakes, vinegar, salt and cloud ear (kikurage) mushrooms. Agar agar, a type of seaweed-based gelatin, is also added for texture. But what may surprise you is that some manufacturers add artificial dye to the salad. Sugar is also added, but depending on manufacturer, may be present in the form of corn syrup. 


Nutritional Data on Pre-Packaged Seaweed Salad

A typical serving size, 2 ounces, of seaweed salad has approximately 70 calories, 4 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 50 milligrams of calcium, and 1 gram of protein.  Eaten in moderation, seaweed salad can be enjoyed without breaking the calorie bank.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2008 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


4 Responses to “Is Seaweed Salad Healthy?”

  1. Tess on August 30th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Wow Marisa!

    What a wonderful site!

    I used to buy salads like the one pictured here, and wondered at how consistently the same they were, though they came from different stores. I suppose it was in the back of my mind that these were some sort of commercially manufactured product, but I never bothered to read the ingredients label.

    One day I went to my most convenient store looking for kanten (agar-agar). It’s a Korean grocery, but they carry some Japanese food. Their produce is fresh and their frozen meats are good—it’s surprising how similar Korean cuisine is to the Japanese—and they are now starting to carry some good-looking fresh fish. Anyway. I couldn’t find agar-agar, so I asked. There was a language problem, since I don’t speak Korean, so I ended up writing “agar-agar.” The fellow finally understood what I was looking for! He led me to the refrigerator case with packages of that salad and pointed to “agar-agar” listed on the label! That was the first time I’d read the ingredients, and I was surprised to realize that of course it’s artificially colored.

  2. Andrea on September 8th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve always liked seaweed salad because it has a nutty flavor to me. I wonder why, now seeing what the ingredients are (and having no nuts, lol).

  3. Sushi Fish on February 29th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    There are actually some pre-packaged goma wakame products that don’t have any additive dyes. They don’t have the same bright green appearance, and are dull and less attractive looking. If you don’t care about appearance, I would look for “natural” goma wakame.

  4. Kikuchikoo on July 27th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Wakame salad is easy to make and super healthy. Wakame comes in dried form which reconstitutes in water in only five minutes. Drain the wakame. Slice a carrot into matchsticks and add olive or sesame oil and vinegar of your choice to taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and there you have it. I find it tastes better on the second day. Enjoy!

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