Arame, the Latin names for which are Eisenia bicyclis and Ecklonia bicyclis is an edible kelp that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is high in a number of vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, iodine, vitamin A, and calcium. It also has trace amounts of vitamin B12, which is rarely found in vegetables that grow on the land. Arame is dark brown and has a mild flavor. Some say that this kind of seaweed is slightly sweet. It is also extremely low in fat and calories.
Unlike other kinds of seaweed, arame is usually consumed in a rehydrated rather than dried state. It is usually packaged and purchased dried, but is rehydrated before being served or added to a dish. It does not take very long to rehydrated this sea vegetable, only about five to ten minutes. During the rehydration process, the seaweed will usually double in size.
Sometimes served on its own, arame is also commonly used as a garnish or as an addition to other dishes. It is sometimes added to sushi dishes in which the fish is layered on top of the rice. In this case, the seaweed is draped over the rice and around the sushi. It is also sometimes served as a part of a seaweed salad along with other kinds of seaweed. Sometimes these salads are marinated before being served.
As it has a very delicate flavor, arame can be added to all kinds of dishes. It is sometimes added to soup, such as miso soup. It can also be used in dishes made with fish and tofu. The nearly black color of the arame is often a nice contrast to the light, creamy colors of these kinds of proteins and can create a visually attractive dish as well as one that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is often chopped or served in strips when garnishing these sorts of dishes.
Although arame is most commonly used in Asian cuisine, it can be purchased in the West. This is especially true now that Asian cuisine, especially Japanese cuisine, has become so popular in the West. This sea vegetable may not be found in all grocery stores, but it is commonly stocked in health food stores. Since arame is usually sold in a dried state, it can be purchased via mail order by those who cannot find it in any of their local stores.