Seaweed: the Amazing Vegetable with the Ugly Name

Countries like Japan have spent centuries learning to live off the sea, and this meant developing a taste for the vegetation as much as for the animals. Thusly you find seaweed used in many traditional dishes from the east. It’s a flavor that many of us in America rarely encounter, possibly only in the form of the scraps that hold together some of the sushi rolls found at our Federal Way Japanese restaurant. However, those who shy away from this strange and unfortunately-named vegetable are missing out on yet another of the ocean’s great boons.

Seaweed is very, very good for you. A proper serving of seaweed contains every mineral that the human body needs: calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iodine, iron, and zinc. The vitamins found in sea plants include beta-carotene, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, folic acid and several B vitamins. Some varieties have been found to contain vitamin B12, which is rare among land-based vegetables. It enriches your blood, purges toxins from your system, regulates your hormones, facilitates your metabolism, and even promotes healthy, youthful looking skin and hair.

So if you’ve ever wondered how the people of Japan manage to remain so healthy, consider giving seaweed a try. You can find it at your local Asian market, or on the menu at the Akasaka Japanese restaurant in Federal Way.

Crab: Your Best Friend with Ten Legs

Soft shell crab, crab cakes, ginger crab, these are some of the ways you can enjoy your favorite decapod at the Akasaka Federal Way Japanese restaurant. We stand by our crab, so we feel the need to step up on its behalf when we hear people question the nutritional merit thereof. Crab, in all its delicious forms, is a healthy choice for any good seafood patron.

First and foremost, crab contains omega-3 fatty acids. This is a trait of all shellfish, and it’s one of the best reasons to eat seafood. The benefits to your heart have been well-documented. On top of this, crab also features chromium and selenium. The former is good for preventing or managing diabetes, as it facilitates the metabolization of sugar and therefore lowers the glucose level of your blood. The latter is a valuable antioxidant that helps to battle carcinogens, including cadmium, arsenic, and mercury.

So come sink your teeth into a good piece of crustacean! Akasaka Restaurant is always a great choice in a pinch!

The Health Benefits of Soy Sauce

Just like any other Japanese restaurant, Federal Way’s own Akasaka provides soy sauce to help spice up your dining experience. It’s easy to think of it as another oily, salty condiment that should be forgone by anybody on a proper diet. However, before you write off the murky brown bottle, perhaps you would care to learn of the many health benefits contained therein.

It is true that soy sauce can be high in sodium, which can be bad for people fighting high blood pressure. However, it’s also worth noting that the sauce’s strong flavor allows you to use very little of it, and you may in fact come out ahead by favoring it over a salt shaker. And that’s without even factoring in the vitamins and minerals found in soy sauce.

Soy sauce originated as a byproduct of the process of fermenting soybeans into miso and, as any good health nut should know, soybeans are packed with nutritional value. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that soy sauce managed to make off with some of this as well. Firstly, soy sauce contains niacin, which is great for heart health. It regulates fat content in the blood stream and promotes the production of the good variety of cholesterol. Considering that soy sauce contains a scant ten calories per tablespoon, its niacin levels are deemed quite high.

Additionally, soy sauce contains some trace antioxidants and a good supply of tryptophan. These work to promote health, facilitate sleep, and even improve your mood. All in all, a little bit of soy sauce goes a long way.

Which is Better: Fish Oil or Flax Oil?

Sushi, for the most part, means fish. And fish, to the nutritionally-minded individual, means omega-3 fatty acids. We all know how great omega-3 is for us; it lowers blood pressure, keeps your heart healthy, and may even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, with the rising popularity of vegetarianism and the occasional concern about fish, some people wonder if they should be seeking their omega-3 from flax oil pills instead. Our Akasaka Federal Way Japanese restaurant offers several reasons why you should continue to make fish a part of your diet, and only one of them is because of how great sushi tastes.

First of all, the omega-3 found in all fish is more efficient than that found in flax. Flax contains alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), which our bodies have to convert into the beneficial elements of omega-3. We don’t have to work as hard to make the best use out of fish oil. On top of this, there is a potential link between excess ALA and prostate cancer, so men in particular are recommended to choose fish over flax until more conclusive study can be done.

Until such a time, the American Heart Association advises that you eat fish at least twice a week. Sushi is as healthy as any other seafood dish, so why not make Akasaka part of your semi-weekly omega-3 diet? There’s never been a more delicious way to keep your heart beating right!

Is Sushi Safe?

As popular as sushi has become worldwide, there remains a good many people who are leery about the idea of ingesting uncooked fish. Sometimes this is for health concerns, sometimes this is a simple “squick” factor; our Federal Way Japanese restaurant has heard it all, and as such we have become quite good at reassuring the cautious sushi first-timer about the safety and merit of our food.

First off, it should be understood that “sushi” does not necessarily contain raw fish. Some rolls are cooked, including not only Westernized dishes like the California roll or the crunchy roll, but also the more traditional unagi (eel) and ebi (shrimp) sushi. Some selections may not contain seafood at all, like the cucumber roll or the tamago (egg) sushi. These are all options available to the novice who feels the need to “ease into” the sushi experience.

When you are ready to take the plunge into the raw fish territory, we can assure you that your experience will be a safe one. Sushi restaurants are held to high health standards, demanding the best in both our storage of fish and our selection of “sushi-grade” meat. You don’t get to last as long as we have if you make your customers sick, so come down to Akasaka to try your first sushi plate today!

Kobe or Not Kobe?

If you practice carnivorism as a connoisseur, then you should know the name Kobe. Kobe beef is the Champagne of meats. It is world renowned, top-of-the-line, and prohibitively difficult to obtain. The name is often applied liberally, even unscrupulously to beef that lacks the proper qualities that make for a Kobe, so always be sure to seek your Kobe experience with a restaurant you can trust. Kobe beef is only available seasonally at our Federal Way Japanese restaurant, but we do hope that you choose us as your Kobe source when the proper occasion comes along.

The secret to Kobe quality is in the raising of the cows. Where the story behind veal is sad and unfortunate, the life of a Kobe cow is that of a king. A Kobe farm rarely services more than one cow at a time, and the very largest house between ten and fifteen at most. Each one of these bovine blue-bloods is thoroughly pampered, with daily massages and sake. It’s a life of relaxation that comes through on the plate, and one taste will tell you why Kobe is so highly demanded throughout the beef world.

What is Shabu Shabu?

Our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way is pleased to offer you the unique dining experience that is shabu shabu. This Japanese version of the Asian hot pot cooking tradition brings the intimate romance of fondu to a complete and satisfying meal of beef or seafood. The name is thought to be derived from the “swish-swish” of the cooking process; meat is sliced so thin that it only needs to be dipped into the boiling broth twice before it is fully cooked. Watching the meat brown like magic in your own chopsticks is what makes shabu shabu less of a simple dinner and more of an event!

Not only is shabu shabu fun and delicious, it is also friendly to the healthy diet. While it may be comparable to Western-style hot oil fondue, it is considerably better for you. The chief ingredients of shabu shabu’s cooking medium are seaweed and bonito, which are naturally high in glutamates and heavy on savory flavor. Where an oil fondue would be giving you a lot of fat, shabu shabu broth gives you a high-mineral, zero fat agent for a fraction of the calories! Combine this with a choice cut of meat and you’ve got a Japanese experience that’s both tantalizing and nutritious!

What About Udon?

Japanese wheat noodles, including the udon we offer at our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way, are a low-fat, high-energy, high-protein addition to any balanced diet. This is because they provide you with a healthy dose of carbohydrates at a moderate glycemic index, which means that they’re able to deliver long-lasting energy with a moderate effect on your blood sugar. Choosing carbohydrates with lower glycemic indices like this translates to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight problems.

Udon is also well-known in Japan for its digestibility. Scientific tests have determined that the noodles dissolve considerably faster than other common pastas. This is due to the process by which udon is made: The kneading of the wheat flour mixes the proteins with the starch molecules to make them more available to the body’s digestive enzymes. This is why the dish is favored by people fighting the flu; as the noodle digests so easily, blood is not rushed to the stomach and is able to provide sustained energy and heat where it is needed throughout the body.

Soba Noodles and the Powers of Buckwheat

The Japanese have been eating buckwheat in the form of their delicious soba noodles for centuries, and have come to celebrate its healing power. In our modern, health-conscious world, the great health benefits of buckwheat have been scientifically confirmed. It is therefore that we are proud to offer you the valuable nutritional sensation that is soba in our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way.

Though buckwheat doesn’t tend to find many vehicles in American cuisine, it has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol, manage blood sugar, prevent cancer and just generally maintain good health. This is due to its truly unique composition of proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins and nutrients. This includes rutin, a powerful bioflavonoid that is not found in other cereal grains. Bioflavonoids, like those found in green tea and red wine, are powerful antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause cancer, strokes, senility, and as much as 90% of other diseases. Japanese health experts recommend getting 30 mg of rutin per day, and with the 100 mg of rutin in a single serving of soba, you’re easily good to go.

Start With a Healthy Appetizer

At our Federal Way Japanese restaurant, we debunk the myth that eating healthy means sacrificing all things delicious. The Japanese have, on average, the longest life expectancy worldwide for good reason: they maintain a healthy diet. You can order most items on our menu guilt-free, but if you’re looking to start your meal the most nutritious way possible, here are some suggestions.

Miso Soup:

Made with soybeans, rice, barley, rye, wheat, and buckwheat, miso soup is a common find at Japanese restaurants. But did you know miso soup is actually good for you? High in protein and many other minerals like zinc, copper, and manganese, this soup supports your immune system and has anticarcinogenic properties.


Edamame is a simple appetizer, but one that you can feel good about eating. It takes practice popping these soybeans from their soft shell, but succeed and you’ll be rewarded with omega-3 fats, protein, and fiber. For an even healthier appetizer, order your edamame with little or no salt.

Seaweed Salad:

Sure, a salad of seaweed may not sound as good as deep-fried tempura, but you’ll be surprised by its tastiness. Seaweed is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium, and it has proven to also help prevent heart disease.

These are only some of the healthy options available on our appetizer menu. Curious about the others? Just ask your server when you visit our Federal Way Japanese restaurant! We’ll happily guide you to other nutritious options.