Arame Sea Vegetable is a brown algae that grows off the shores of Ise (ee-say) Shima, Japan where it thrives in cool waters of the Arctic current. The most tender fronds of arame are selected and hand harvested in the summer. The fronds are washed and sun dried. After drying, the fronds are then steamed for five hours to soften it and enhance its color, then finely shredded to make it easy to use and quick to prepare before naturally air drying.
Arame Eisenia bicyclis is a wavy sea vegetable with two thin, oval fronds. Each year fronds are shed and new ones develop creating a branched and feathery plant. Although, when dried and cooked arame resembles hiziki in color and appearance, it is softer, more delicate and much milder in flavor. Arame is the sweetest all the sea vegetables with a pleasing texture and appearance. These qualities make it the most appealing to those just beginning to familiarize their palate with sea vegetables.
Arame has been a traditional part of the Japanese diet since ancient times. Arame is low in sodium, low calorie, and fat and cholesterol free, and a good source of fiber.
Arame may be cooked with whole grains, in soups, stir fries, vegetable dishes, homemade breads, stuffing, salads, croquettes, and in making grain, tofu and tempeh burgers. Arame doubles in size when cooked. To use, rinse quickly, soak for 5 minutes in cold water, chop if desired, and add to your recipe. Arame makes an excellent side dish when cooked with sautéed sweet vegetables, seasoned with Ume Plum Vinegar or Brown Rice Vinegar and Tamari.
Like hijiki, arame is a brown algae, albeit with a milder taste. Young, tender wild plants are harvested in late summer, finely shredded, and processed.