Seaweed salad?

Ayo- love seaweed salad, but I'm not sure what types are commonly used. Would love any advice about the beat types to use! Seems like something that would make for a good summer lunch to take to work. For reference, i have access tona few small asian grocery stores and whole foods, although there's a bunch in the suburbs I could go to in theory. Thanks yall.



bsweda May 26, 2011
What you are looking for is salted seaweed stem. It is sold at Asian markets in the refrigerated section. I costs about $2-3 a package. It needs to be rinsed 4 or 5 times and soaked in cool water for about an hour to get the salt out. Drain and tear the stems into thin strips and cut into 2-3 inch strips. The dressing is a combination of soy sauce, unseasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, a little sugar, red pepper flakes and toasted sesame seeds. Many restaurants also stretch the seaweed and give the salad another texture by adding some agar-agar strips. I have done a great deal of research and never found an exact recipe, but this has the right mouth feel like what you get with ahi tuna or sushi in a restaurant.
Sam1148 May 24, 2011
RE: Sesame dressing. A post here made me quest for a good bottled 'goma' dressing.
I used to knock myself out making Goma sauce (sesame dressing) from scratch. Toasting grinding, adjusting etc..etc.

Then I found "Kewpie" sesame dressing. I've tried many other brands but this spot on for cold spinach dressed salad, noodles etc. Drawback--it's expensive. But the flavor is great..and another drawback; it does have some MSG in it...but then again most Japanese stuff has some form of msg. Be it mushroom extract, kombu, or other seaweeds, or the processed crystals. I'm not MSG adverse as it does (in correct amounts) add to the taste for the dishes. I think it gets bad rep because of over use in fast foods/soups/etc.
Anitalectric May 24, 2011
A note about Hijiki:

I bought a bag dried. You have to soak, drain and rinse at least 3 times. It is generally dirty stuff. Once you get it clean the flavor is still very strong, so it is best incorporated into salads that include a mix of other ingredients. Like this, I enjoy it :)

One of the tastiest and easiest ways to enjoy seaweed in a salad is to buy nori (can find everywhere nowadays), and cut into thin shreds. Just before serving, sprinkle on top like a garnish. Best coupled with sesame seeds (white or black) and a ginger-based dressing.

At the restaurant where I used to work they served a salad which was Atlantic seaweed that came from Maine (dulse?), that came with a sesame dressing and salad greens. It was extremely satisfying! And let me tell you. That stuff with clean out your system. (Sorry if that grosses you out.) Similarly to Hijiki, it had to be rinsed and soaked in many changes of water to get out the fishy flavor. Worth the work.
Sam1148 May 23, 2011
@prettypeas Yes, I think some of the frozen wakame has dyes to give that unearthly green color.

This sounds strange....but to me the dried wakame tastes very similar to collard greens.
I love it tho, in a sunomo seafood salad with vinegar, cucumbers, crab (or KRAB for cheap), octopus, or even shrimp.
prettyPeas May 23, 2011
The frozen product (which is most often what is served at restaurants) also contains agar-agar strands, which add to the rubbery texture Sam1148 mentions. Also, I believe the frozen versions are packaged fresh wakame stems (along with the seasonings and agar) rather than rehydrated dry, which do have a different texture, but I usually make it from rehydrated dry seaweeds as the ingredient list on the frozen packaged version is a little too long and full of dyes for me. It is tasty, though.
Sadassa_Ulna May 23, 2011
Hijiki is black and looks like twigs - it is VERY strong in taste, kind of a bitter mineral ocean taste (I don't care for it). Arame is also black but milder in flavor than hijiki, although still kind of bitter and sea-flavored; its thinner than hijiki and looks like black bendy needles. Kombu is thick, flat and dark green and I don't know if its ever used for salads, it is salty and not as bitter as the ones mentioned. Wakame (dried) is kind of like nori, and I didn't know that the bright green kind that is often served alongside sushi is fresh (or frozen) wakame. Dried wakame is often added to miso soup. And I agree with lovesitc, dulse (maroon color and salty) is tasty out of the bag.
Sam1148 May 23, 2011
Like others have said, it's sometimes a mix. (Wakame, Hijiki, etc,etc) But, I think the thing your missing is 'fresh' (or frozen) product instead of the dried product. It's a bit different texture, more---well I hate to use the word--rubbery. You can find it Japaneese stores in the freezer or 'fridge section, but as mentioned, Wakame is what your looking for, the frozen is quite different in texture and color than the dried.

And now I get to push one of my favorite cook books. Japaneese Cooking a Simple Art.
It's one of those cookbooks you read. The first part is all about the settings, traditions, the choices of dishes to balance a meal, seasons, techniques, the order of meal etc. The other half is recipes. The section on salad is brief but lists a nice grid of types of dressing. Followed by examples.
nutcakes May 23, 2011
susan g: the typical Asian restaurant seaweed salad I see is wakame which looks like green ribbons. What you are describing sounds like sea beans.

spuntino: I like wakame for miso soup and salads. Here is a really nice cucumber salad that uses wakame. It is so delicious.
CaryNC May 23, 2011
No problem "lovesite" maybe we can put a spin on this forum. LOL
susan G. May 23, 2011
The typical Asian restaurant seaweed salad is not a seaweed I recognize. It is bright green and a bit like plastic green noodles with branches. ID??
lovesitc May 23, 2011
Oops!!! Didn't want that photo attached here!!!! Sorry!!
lovesitc May 23, 2011
It's not a salad, but I buy Dulse and eat it straight out of the bag. It's that good!
prettyPeas May 23, 2011
Wakame is the most common component. It is easier to make seaweed salad if you buy shredded wakame, insead of having to chop it after soaking. Other seaweeds commonly added in lesser amounts include arame and hijiki. Sometimes you can even find a bagged mix intended for seaweed salad.
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