This year has been a bad year for wakame.
Last year, the harvest was good. It was so good that the beach was strewn with wakame, both farmed and wild. Early mornings would see neighbourhood ojisan and obasan out gathering it in overflowing shopping bags.
We had wakame shabu shabu time and again in the early weeks of the season, and wakame hung to dry in the kitchen and on the laundry line from January until March.
Not so this year.
The harvest started late, and it’s already almost over. There has barely been enough to fill orders made over the past year. There has been none for people asking to buy at the beach, and only a small take-home for the helpers. The beach is clear.
Here’s hoping the sazae (sea snail) harvest, which starts in April, is a good one.