Cook with Foods that Fight Cancer: Seaweed


Difficulty level Easy

Seaweed has been part of the Chinese and Japanese diet for thousands of years, but has only recently been recognized in the West as a food source. Researchers have long thought that the amount of soy based foods has played a role in the huge difference in cancer rates between women in Japan and women in Western society. It appears that marine algae also plays a role in reduced incidence of cancer.

In their book Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer (2007, DK Adult) authors Richard Beliveau and Denis Gingras write that as with soy, algae lengthens menstrual cycles and lowers blood estrogen levels decreasing the risk of hormone based cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. Algae contains two compounds which "disrupt several processes vital to the growth of cancer cells." It is particularly effective against prostate cancer, according to the authors.

Nori, normally sold in dry sheets, has become more prevalent in North America because of the increase in popularity of sushi. Wakame is the type of seaweed most commonly used in the traditional Japanese miso soup. Dulse is one of the few algae that is not of Japanese origin. It can be found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Iceland. In Canada, it can be found around Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy. It is eaten as a snack, often with a pint of beer.Miso Soup


1 oz. wakame or arame seaweed
stream of olive oil
3/4 cup Chinese broccoli or kale, julienned
12 fresh Shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp red miso
3 green onions, finely sliced


  1. Soak the seaweed for 5 to 10 minutes in a bowl of cold water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute the broccoli and mushrooms over medium-high heat.
  3. Pour in the stock, add the drained seaweed and let simmer for 10 minutes, without boiling.
  4. Dilute the miso with a bit of stock and add to the soup. Add the green onions and serve.
This recipe appears in: Chinese

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