Wakame is edible seaweed. It is full of vitamins and minerals and can be eaten cold or hot. The Japanese eat it in various ways, for example as a salad with sushi, but also as a ‘vegetable’ in miso soup.
It’s time to share my wakame recipe with you. It is the perfect vegan salad, btw.
In addition to the wakame, there are a few other perhaps unknown ingredients, such as mirin. That is Japanese cooking wine at I buy it at an Asian food store.
Tahini is sesame paste. It’s nothing more than ground sesame seeds and is used to make hummus. I buy tahini at the supermarket.
I am often inspired by the Japanese TV channel NHK (In English). I watch all their programs about food. The recipes are very clear and easy to copy. Last week I saw an episode about how wakame grows and is harvested and I immediately bought some dried seaweed at my local Asian store.
The broadcast does not stay online, but here is a summary of the tv episode about wakame in photos.
I like the wakame salad you get in sushi restaurants but most of the time it is too sweet and not spicy enough to my taste. Maybe it is because my flavor palate is more Indonesian style. 😉
The following recipe is my way of making wakame salad with a hot spicy rawit chili pepper and red onions.
I use a measuring spoon for the ingredients because with a salad like this it’s about the exact balance.
This recipe is enough for 2-3 portions (as a side dish) and is ready in 40 minutes.
10 grams of dried wakame
1 clove of garlic
1 rawit (mini hot pepper)
15 grams of red onions
2 cm ginger
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon of salty soy sauce
1 teaspoon cane sugar syrup or regular sugar
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
You think when you see the amount of dried wakame you cannot believe it is enough for 2-3 portions. But this seaweed has the amazing ability to swell up.
That’s why I start boiling water and pour it over the dried wakame. I leave the wakame in it for 5 minutes with a lid on the bowl.
After 5 minutes the wakame looks like this. Cool huh!? Now drain immediately and rinse well with cold water. The wakame colors instantly become lighter. Beautiful!
I let the wakame drain and I also squeeze the water out a bit. Then it has the chance to suck up the dressing. I cut the wakame into small strips.
I mix the tahini, the mirin, the cane syrup, the juice of half a lime and the teaspoon soy sauce in a small bowl.
If you want to use regular sugar, make sure to keep stirring until the sugar is well dissolved.
I cut the 2 cm fresh ginger as finely as possible and squeeze out the garlic clove. I add this to the dressing.
I chop up my tiny dried rawit. It is super spicy so enough to flavor my entire salad.
I cut my red onion into thin rings.
Now I mix everything together with the sesame seeds and leave it to rest for about 20 minutes.
Now the wakame has sucked up all the lovely flavors of the sauce. Time to taste! I eat it just like it is, but it is delicious with Japanese rice too. Check out the recipe here.