Seaweed Salad (Makes 4 servings)

I’d always heard about the many health benefits of seaweed and its one of my favorite things to order in a Japanese restaurant.

A few weeks ago I happened to be in a Japanese Fish store buying fish to make sashimi and I picked up a small container of seaweed salad from the refrigerator shelf. It came packaged up in a plastic container with an ingredient label. Having often wondered what they put in seaweed salad when you order it in a restaurant, I took a look at the label. To my horror it contained all sorts of preservatives, colorings and high fructose corn syrup!!

I vowed there and then that I was going to learn how to make my own seaweed salad.

I never realized how many different types of dried seaweed you could order on line or even find in your local store, and many of them are organic from clean waters. I ordered some packets of Wakame (the key constituent of most seaweed salads), Dulse and Hijiki from Amazon.com for very reasonable prices and couldn’t wait for them to arrive. The seaweed is dried so its in tiny little pieces which need to be re-constituted in water. You need to cover a small 1 oz portion of dried seaweed with ALOT of water so use the largest bowl you have!  I used about 3/4 of an ounce of Wakame and made up the rest with Dulse (a pretty deep red color) and Hijiki. 10 minutes later the seaweed pieces had expanded to 20 times their size! I drained and dried the seaweed and proceeded with an adaptation of a recipe I found online.

Note: I’ve recently learned that the long strands of seaweed you usually get in a bowl of seaweed Japanese restaurant are actually wakame stems. For the life of me I could not find Wakame stems anywhere! Where do the restaurants get it from ?! If anyone knows please do let me know.

Needless to say, the shape of the seaweed leaves did not distract from the wonderful flavor of this salad. Try it and you’ll agree.

Ingredients

  • 30 grams (1 ounce) dry mixed seaweed (Wakame, Dulse, Hijiki)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (now before you all pass out in horror, 1 tbsp of sugar divided 4 ways is a tiny amount of carbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (grate it and press it through a small sieve)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

Preparation:

  1. Put the dry seaweed in a large bowl and fill it with cold water. If you like your seaweed crunchy, soak it for 5 minutes, if you like it more tender, soak it for 10 minutes.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt and ginger juice in a small bowl and whisk together.
  3. Drain the seaweed and use your hands to squeeze out excess water. I like to wrap it in cheesecloth and squeeze. Wipe out any excess water in the bowl, and then return the seaweed along with the dressing and sesame seeds. Toss thoroughly to combine. Plate the salad and garnish with scallions. Enjoy with chopsticks.

Nutrition Information per serve: 72 calories, 4.5 g fat, 7.2 g total carbs, 1.4 g fiber (5.8 g net carbs), 0.6g protein.

56% fat per serving!

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