09 July, 2009

Seaweed Salad


When I was a kid, my family and I lived in China for two years. Many things that I tasted then, never crossed my palate again. Those were unique tastes, a totally different cuisine to what I was used to (that is heavy meat-loaded German home-style cooking). The Chinese Restaurants that popped up everywhere in East Germany after the German reunification didn't do any justice to their original cuisine.
However, one very particular taste returned. My now-husband took me to a Chinese restaurant in Johannesburg/South Africa on our first date. He ordered a seaweed salad as a starter, and there it was again!!!! Hadn't tasted it for about 20 years. In fact, I had totally forgotten about. But it was delicious.
Another five or six years have passed. We have been living here in Dubai for a few years, and if there is one good thing to be said about Dubai, then it is the variety of foods available in the supermarkets. Since expats here come from all corners of the world, the supermarkets are bound to serve all needs: Far East Asian, Indian, Arabic, African, American, European...you name it. Here I come across a packet of dried seaweed. After a few tries I got the taste of the salad like I knew from when I was a kid. It's all in the dressing!
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SEAWEED SALAD

25g/1oz dried Wakamame or Kombu seaweed
water

Dressing
1 clove garlic
1 1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 red chili (deseeded) (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey

Optional
150g firm tofu
1 tablespoon pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Serves 2
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Soak the dried seaweed in about 200ml water for about 8-10 minutes. The seaweed should turn leafy and green. Discard excess water, even wring the seaweed. Cut into slim slivers.

For the dressing: mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar with the honey. Finely chop deseeded chili into small pieces and add together with the finely grated ginger, and crushed garlic. Pour the dressing over the seaweed. Keep in the fridge for half an hour. Serve cold. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.

To make it a proper meal or lunch you can add toasted tofu and some nuts. Cut the tofu into cubes and toast them in a non-stick pan over medium heat until the sides turn golden brown.
Toast the pistachio kernels in a dry pan over medium heat. Both tofu and roughly chopped pistachios can be added warm to the cold salad.

5 comments:

  1. While I really like seaweed I wanted to see if you had any reference to the claim on your foodgawker post that this was the most nutritious food on earth. Could you point me in the directions of where I can read up about that? thanks or danke schön!

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  2. Sorry, I meant 'vegetable'.

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  3. @ Marlis
    Alright, it might not be the MOST nutritious, but is definitely one of them. If you google for nutritional benefits of seaweed, you'll find information to back up my claim.
    Check here:
    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=135

    http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/07/05/the-6-healthiest-staple-foods-in-japanese-cuisine.htm

    http://www.greenfootsteps.com/seaweed-health.html

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  4. very nice... maybe i will try this very soon.

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  5. Checked out the links upi posted. Interesting stuff for sure! Thanks for the reply and links. Now if I could only find a way to convince my kids and dh to eat this...

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