Spicy Wakame Chili

Spicy Wakame Chili

I’m currently in the midst of a weird living situation and it includes living with two football fanatics. The television is always blaring sports. There are randoms screams and bouts of profanity blaring from the living room at all hours. And I have committed the football schedule to heart so I know exactly when I should be out of the house. Come Super Bowl Sunday you can find me at the spa, thank you very much.

When I made this chili this week it was not with the intention of serving it at a pre-game party, but I think this recipe will nourish you regardless of what you have in store this weekend. And, I’m really excited to share this recipe with you because this chili has a special ingredient.  Can you guess what it is?  I suppose judging from the title you might say wakame, and you would be correct!

If you are not already familiar with wakame, it’s definitely time to get this sea vegetable on your radar. Wakame is a seaweed loaded with magnesium, iron, calcium, iodine, folate, and a host of vitamins. I’ve mentioned before that I can’t stand the smell of the ocean or anything that tastes “fishy,” but I have become an expert at hiding sea vegetables in foods.

I always add kombu (edible kelp) to my beans while cooking (to help soften them and add trace minerals) and I can’t get enough of this gingered sea vegetable salad with arame. I’ve recently begun to sneak wakame into my vegetable stocks and soups and I promise that with this recipe, you won’t even know it’s in there!

Wakame for Spicy Wakame Chili

I usually buy my wakame and sea vegetables from Eden Organic. I trust their brand and have always been impressed with their quality. (You can usually find them in your local health food store as well as online.)

Start by soaking the wakame in water. Look at it grow! I only used two teaspoons of dried wakame in this recipe so that I wouldn’t notice it in the broth. However, if you actually like the taste of the ocean, feel free to add more!

Spicy Wakame Chili
Once you soak the wakame for about five minutes, simply drain the soaking water and then blend it with the vegetable broth. I have found that blending it helps to disperse the seaweed so you can be sure you won’t find any chunks in your soup. You can use this technique to add wakame to any recipe that calls for vegetable broth.
After this, you’re off to make your chili. This chili is fabulous on its own, but it’s even better when topped with tofu sour cream!

Spicy Wakame Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • 2 teaspoons dried diced wakame
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1-28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1-14.5 oz can diced and fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  1. Begin by soaking the wakame in some water for about 5 minutes, until it expands. Drain the wakame and add to a blender with your vegetable broth. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  2. Add the oil to a pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic and saute an additional minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, along with your vegetable broth, and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Serve hot, topped with the tofu sour cream.

Tofu Sour Cream
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dressings & Dips
  • 1 (10½ ounce) box organic silken firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Crumble tofu and all other ingredients into a food processor and process for several minutes, until smooth. I recommend placing it in the fridge or freezer for about 10 minutes to help firm it up prior to serving.
  2. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and it will keep up to 5 days. (Note: it may separate so mix thoroughly before reusing).



Get your FREE Handy Guide to Produce to jumpstart your cooking AND weekly recipes & healthy living tips!
I hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.


  1. Lindsay Loves Veggies says

    What a great idea! I have adventured with sea veggies much beyond nori and dulse, but I’ve really been wanting to, I just don’t quite know how. Thanks for the yummy looking recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: