About Mozuku and Konnyaku

Mozuku (Cladosiphon okamuranus) is an edible seaweed harvested in the oceans of Okinawa. During my trip to Okinawa, I had it every day and brought home a pack of thick and healthy looking Mozuku (太もずく). Mozuku is extremely healthy and is said to have cancer preventative, anti-aging properties, among other various health benefits. Unlike the globally popular seaweeds such as Nori (used for sushi rolls for example) or Wakame (often found in miso soup), Mozuku may not be as generally recognized outside of Japan. It has a rather slimy texture, is odorless and is often served with a variety of vinegar dressings: ordinary rice vinegar, kurozu (black vinegar) or flavored with Okinawan Shequasar (Citrus depressa). It can also be fried, or served in soups.

Mozuku prepared with a Japanese vinaigrette

Today, I opened the pack of Mozuku I brought home and prepared it. There are many ways of eating Mozuku, but I prefer it as a salad. One can eat just the Mozuku prepared in vinegar and soysauce, or add other salad ingredients such as lettuce, cucumber and/or radish to it. The picture shows my Mozuku salad today, with frill lettuce and radish.

Onto Konnyaku or Konjac (Amorphophallus konjac). Common to Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan, often referred to as “yam cake” and also a vegan substitute for gelatin. It is popular because it has almost zero calories, is filling and possesses many health benefits. It comes in many shapes and sizes, can be prepared many different ways both savory and sweet. Shirataki, as described in an earlier post, is also made of Konnyaku.

I like many different types of Konnyaku but today I cooked it with beef and some vegetables, so I chose a kind that comes already cut up into a noodle shaped form called Tsukikonnnyaku (つきこんにゃく).

First, I marinated the beef in soy sauce, sake, red pepper paste (豆板醤), and some garlic. After 10 minutes, I covered the meat in potato starch and sauteed it with some onions. Separately, I prepared the Konnyaku with soy sauce, sake, sugar (kinpira style) and some red pepper flakes and added it to the meat along with some green vegetables. Served with rice and a side of Mozuku…

Another two Konnyaku dishes below. On the left, using the twisted kind, I cooked it with sake, soy sauce, dashi, mirin, red pepper Shichimi and added fish cake (with vegetables), which made a nice combo. On the right, using the normal kind that comes as a block, I cut it into slices and twisted them. Both are prepared the same way.

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