Friday, March 15, 2013

Seaweed Salad

This post is for my girl Virginia! She loooooves sushi and is not afraid to admit it. I don't even ask anymore where we are meeting for lunch or dinner because she has usually set her mind to sushi. One of our staple sushi accouterments is seaweed salad. I love it and always order it prior to whatever raw-fish roll I am in the mood for. 

Seaweed Salad

Seaweed is Good For You

Thinking about seaweed brought a grimace to my face, thinking back on all the times my brother used to find it on the beach and throw it at me. Talk about getting an instant scream! So how is it that seaweed salad has become such a popular side dish in America? Well, we aren't the first to pick up on the salt-water-dwelling algae. Like most foods, trends and recipes, we "borrow" ideas from other cultures. The Chinese and Japanese have included sea vegetables in their diets and medicinal remedies for centuries. And rightly so, seaweed is FULL of essential vitamins and minerals. 

Seaweed Salad

Therefore, one would think this is a healthy side dish to order while at a sushi restaurant, but apparently not all healthy. Much like many wonderful things, it has a defect....too much sugar and sodium. Beware of what you are about to read....seaweed salad can have as much as 1200mg of sodium in a serving!! Esh....that is definitely most of the suggested daily intake and probably the reason for major bloat after eating it.

Seaweed Salad

When I was shopping in Trader Joe's the other day, I came across one of their new items - dehydrated seaweed salad. I didn't like the dressing that was included, so I threw it away and created my own version, further controlling the amount of sugar AND sodium. Even better, my dressing is gluten free!! So here is to having your cake (or seaweed) and eating it too!! Enjoy Virginia :)

Seaweed Salad

Yields: 2 cups salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 package of Trader Joe's Dehydrated Seaweed Salad (discard dressing) or 30 grams mixture of dried seaweeds (nori, wakame, etc)
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T low-sodium Tamari (or soy sauce if gluten is not an issue)
1 T sake (optional - Trader Joe's usually has it)
1 T rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp red pepper powder or flakes

Suggested toppings:
sesame seeds, toasted (white or black)
cucumber, thinly sliced
scallion, finely chopped
radish, thinly sliced
avocado, diced

Follow the instructions for re-hydrating the seaweed (unless you have fresh, then just rinse and drain). For the Trader Joe's package, soak the seaweed in water for 7-10 minutes.

Seaweed Salad
Seaweed Salad
In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together and adjust the honey and red pepper powder to taste. Then pour over the seaweed, serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

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