Seaweed salad is basically my mom’s love language. Trips to the Asian market and to the local poké shop routinely involve a huge helping of this uniquely tasty dish. The natural brininess of the seaweed pops with toasty notes from sesame seeds and just a little acidic kick from a splash of rice vinegar. The end result is a vibrant, fresh dish that will make you feel like you’re at the beach!
Seaweed might not be one of the first vegetables you’d reach for, but it’s one of the most nutritionally dense foods you could have. Loaded with minerals, micronutrients, fiber, and vitamins, seaweed has been shown to help prevent inflammation, promote proper thyroid activity, regulate hormones, and even reduce PMS symptoms! Vegetarians and vegans can benefit greatly from seaweed, since it’s one of only a few plant-based sources of Vitamin B12.
Fresh seaweed can be tricky to find, but you can find dried seaweed in just about any Asian market, as well as a number of natural grocery stores. Seaweed salad typically uses wakame or hijiki seaweed, both of which are easily found in their dried forms. Hijiki takes longer to rehydrate than wakame (one hour as opposed to five minutes), but both kinds are a delicious base for this salad!
Wakame Seaweed Salad
1 oz dried wakame seaweed
1 TBSP sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP ginger, grated
3 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 TBSP sesame oil
Dash of red pepper flakes, or to taste
Optional: 1/4 tsp togarashi
Put the wakame in a bowl, and pour enough cool water over the wakame to cover it. Soak for 4-6 minutes, until it reaches the desired tenderness. Drain well, and cut any larger pieces into 1/4” ribbons.
To make the dressing, place a small sauté pan on high heat. Toss the sesame seeds in the pan, remove from the heat, and toss to evenly toast until fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients, and return to the heat just until it reaches a boil. Remove from the heat; let cool completely, then toss evenly with the wakame. Serve either chilled or at room temperature.
Makes about 2 cups.