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Seaweed-Vegetable Salad With Ginger-Lemon Dressing

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    Seaweed-Vegetable Salad With Ginger-Lemon Dressing
  • 2/9
    From left to right: dry arame, hijiki and sea palm
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    Place the arame, hijiki and sea palm in a medium bowl, and pour in enough water to completely submerge them. Let soak on the kitchen counter, until rehydrated and doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • 4/9
    Rehydrated and drained sea vegetables
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    Combine the sea vegetables in a bowl
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    Grate the carrot
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    Slice the cucumbers horizontally, then cut into half-moons
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    Destem, seed and dice the pepper
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    Finely grate the ginger. Over a small sieve placed over a bowl, squeeze out as much juice as you can. Discard the pulp.

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Aug 18, 2015

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Seaweed-Vegetable Salad With Ginger-Lemon Dressing

Let’s all eat more seaweed. I know it’s an acquired taste—strange shape, unusual color, a little slimy—but most likely, you are already familiar with some of it from eating Asian food (speckles of emerald green wakame are a staple ingredient in miso soup).

Sea vegetables are very easy to work with—you’re really just rehydrating—and super beneficial to our bodies; they offer a complete protein source, minerals (iron, sodium, iodine) and vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, A, C, E). Also—a fun fact—the makeup of the saline solution embryos develop in the womb is almost identical to seawater.

They’re added to beauty products, too, to strengthen our hair and nurture our skin. But instead of applying a layer of La Mer on your face—make a salad!

In this recipe, I’m using three types of seaweed. Arame (long, brown, thin straw strands) and hijiki (dark brown Darjeeling-tea-look-alike chips) are easy to find in Asian sections of most supermarkets, usually packed in small cellophane bags. Sea palm (green ribbed sticks) isn’t that common—you might need to look online. Worst case: Substitute the same amount of hijiki.

The rest of the ingredients are terrestrial: crunchy vegetables that add really pretty color and texture, and an Asian-inspired, sweet-salty-spicy dressing. I used Persian cucumbers, but any will do.

You can eat this highly nutritional salad on its own, or serve it as a side with fried tofu steaks or baked fish. 

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  1. Serves 4; yields ¾ cup dressing
  2. 1 cup dry arame
  3. ½ cup dry hijiki
  4. ¼ cup dry sea palm
  5. 2 cups cucumbers, sliced horizontally, cut into half-moons (about 3 cucumbers)
  6. 1 cup carrot, peeled, grated (about 1 large carrot)
  7. 1 cup red, yellow or green pepper, destemmed, seeded, diced (about 1 large pepper)
  8. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  9. Dressing
  10. 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
  11. 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
  12. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  13. 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  14. 1 teaspoon salt
  15. ¼ cup olive oil
  16. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1

Place the arame, hijiki and sea palm in a medium bowl, and pour in enough water to completely submerge them. Let soak on the kitchen counter, until rehydrated and doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

2

Prepare the dressing. Finely grate the ginger. Over a small sieve placed over a bowl, squeeze out as much juice as you can. Discard the pulp.

3

Mix in the maple syrup, soy sauce, lemon juice, and salt. In a slow stream, pour in the oils, and whisk until emulsified. Alternatively, place all dressing ingredients in a jar, secure with a lid, and shake vigorously, until combined. Set aside.

4

Drain the sea vegetables through a sieve, and rinse well under cold running water. Squeeze out any excess water with your hands and set aside.

5

Dry-toast the sesame seeds in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they darken slightly and become fragrant, about 4–5 minutes.

6

In a large bowl, toss the sea vegetables with the cucumbers, carrot and red pepper. Add the dressing and mix well. Serve in individual bowls sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.

Tip

To make this dish raw, do not toast the sesame seeds, and use agave syrup, nama shoyu and raw sesame oil.

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