In keeping with a January of healthful recipes, here is one that I thought was worth sharing: seaweed (or sea vegetable) salad.
When I lived in the Twin Cities I used to love eating at the upscale vegetarian restaurant (recently closed) Cafe Brenda in downtown Minneapolis. It was run by Brenda Langdon who is now chef at Spoonriver in Minneapolis. One time I took a chance and ordered the macrobiotic plate that included a seaweed salad. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had it several times after that.
Since then I’ve made a point to order it when eating at Japanese restaurants. The seaweed flavors are subtle, complex, mildly pungent, and lively and are typically balanced with a dressing of rich toasted sesame oil and bright rice vinegar, When I tried making it at home recently, I found that it was simple and quick, and I was awarded with a similar delicious experience at a much lower cost.
Sea vegetables are healthful. They contain a substance that may help with fat burning: fucoxanthin. Seaweed is nutrient-dense and high in vitamins A, B, C, E and K. It also contains the minerals iodine, potassium, magnesium, copper, and zinc. For a delightful and very healthful meal, serve the salad with sesame-encrusted seared tuna and steamed white or brown rice. Chopsticks are optional but may enhance the experience.
Two common seaweeds for salad are hijiki (hih-jee-kee) and wakame (wah-kah-mee). This recipe uses a combination of both. I tried two different brands, and the Wel-Pac was much better. Check your local Asian market for these foods.
- 1 ounce dried cut wakame (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 ounce dried cut hijiki (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (brown rice or rice wine)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (regular or toasted)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten-free, if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- Place the wakame and hijiki in a medium bowl. Pour in about 3 to 4 cups water. Let soak about 10 minutes, then drain in a colander or strainer. (It will smell quite strong at this point—don’t worry, it smells better when you add the dressing and at the end tastes better than it smells.)
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Stream in sesame oil while whisking.
- Add dressing to soaked, drained seaweed and toss, then mix in sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Leftovers keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
(Recipe adapted from eHow.com.)Pin It