Seaweed Salad

Seaweed, for all its many nutritional claims, can be a bit off-putting at first, but if you like sushi, you should certainly try some other varieties – sort of like with wine, cheese, or chocolate, you can start with the milder varieties and move toward the stronger-tasting ones. For this recipe, look for wakame, which can be found in most Asian markets in both fresh and dried forms, either in whole pieces or already cut into thin “noodles.” If you’re new to sea vegetables, look for the lighter green wakame, which has a milder taste.

Wakame must be rehydrated if you buy it dried – it will swell to 10 times its dried size, so plan accordingly!

The dressing makes more than enough – save the rest for a Chinese Chicken Salad!

ingredients:

  • 8 oz fresh wakame or a little under an ounce, dried
  • salt, to taste – you may not need any

dressing:

  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 T ginger juice (from 2 oz fresh ginger root, grated and squeezed)
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 pinch brown or raw cane sugar
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 2 T safflower or other neutral-flavored oil
  • chopped salted chilies to taste (optional)

garnish (optional):

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • minced scallion
  • chili flakes

method:

  1. If you are using fresh seaweed, rinse it well in cool water, and let it soak for 5 m. If you are using dried seaweed, soak it for at least 30 m in cool water. Remove it from the water with tongs or your hands, leaving the water and any grit behind. Squeeze gently to remove excess water.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, ginger juice, soy sauce, and sugar. Gradually add the oil, whisking constantly.
  3. Toss the dressing, a tablespoonful at a time, with the seaweed until you have as much dressing as you like. At this point, you can add salt as necessary – you may not need any, since seaweed can be very salty already.
  4. Sprinkle with your garnish(es) of choice and serve.
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