Japanese seaweed salad

MitarashiDango
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
Joined: 28 Feb 2009
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I've had them quite a number of times and I've been pondering how to make them myself. They're pretty costly here.. $3 for 150g at asian grocery stores (they're made by a Korean Kimchi manufacturer) or $4.50 as a full (small) salad at japanese takeaways.

I have seen some types of dried seaweed at the nearby grocery store and judging from the picture, there are those that can be made into salad.

Today, I've just had it with finely julienned cucmber and my verdict: too good for summer. I think they work well for cucmbers (an alternative to seaweed) and I hope I can get the recipe here..

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maki
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

(sorry must have missed this earlier)

There are many types of seaweed salad...can you describe the taste? maybe a pic?

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Balifly
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Does it look something like this

http://www.thefreshlobstercompany.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Category_Co....

It is very popular at one of the stores ( Sakanaya Seafood ) I frequent in Vancouver.

They have it freshly made quite often, I can't pass it up either (^_^).

It is usually labeled as " gomah yashi/ hiyashi wakame ".

MitarashiDango
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

@ Maki-san: I cannot really describe the taste.. it's just fresh and is not sour at all..

@ Balifly: I think so.. but I've found a clearer picture of that salad ^^

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/231/535939800_8c95c48d9e.jpg

Gnoe
Bento-ing from: Utrecht › Netherlands (Holland, Europe)
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad
MitarashiDango wrote:

I think so.. but I've found a clearer picture of that salad ^^
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/231/535939800_8c95c48d9e.jpg

That's exactly the salad for which I have been looking the recipe also! And Mr Gnoe. And my brother. ;) Strange that it is available in so many countries (speaking from Holland here) and nobody seems to know the recipe! I''ve seen it being called chuka wakame.

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mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I would also love to learn what sort of seaweed is used in the salad that MitarashiDango posted a picture of. And a recipe would be wonderful!

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maki
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Sorry I didn't reply sooner to this. I am pretty sure that the flavors are similar to the ones I used in the recipe for spring greens namul/namuru, with the addition of red chili pepper. The flavors are more Korean than Japanese I think with sesame oil, sesame, garlic perhaps, etc. I don't have any seaweed handy at the moment but the next time I make a Japanese grocery run I'll pick up some and experiment. In the meantime, try the namul recipe, swapping reconstituted seaweed for the greens!

MitarashiDango
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

It's alright ^^
This shall be my weekend project then! I shall post how I went about with doing it once I'm done!

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I love this salad, but could never work out what was actually in it. At first I thought that the seaweed was some kind of seasoned jullienned kombu, but a lot of people online seem to think it is wakame stems rather than the leaves (does that sound right?) I agree, it is one of the most delicious asian recipes on offer at japanese restuarants over here; I have had it as a filling for konbini-style onigiri, and although it sounds weird it was quite delicious! A recipe would be quite a lifesaver if you could supply one, Maki, but I fear some of the taste of the ready-made type is due to lots of MSG, and the texture may be due to agar or some other gelling agent.

HaleiwaGirl
Bento-ing from: Ventura ,ca › California › USA
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Aloha,
I am new here and not exactly a fountain of knowledge, but I spent more time than I care to think about on this subject. I went EVERYWHERE in search for a recipe for this along with ingredients and the answer was always the same, even at my favorite Japanese restruant..... the answer I got continually was that it was very expensive to make and the ingredients were difficult to come by here, so they actually purchase it made.
Not sure if this helps, but I spent many frustrating hours researching this.
Caroline

Wakkun
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I also like this seaweed salad and order it at the restaurants. Have looked around online for recipe but haven't found it. From what I gathered, mostly the restaurants order it already pre made. There is wakame strands in it, but also agar agar in it too.

MitarashiDango
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I was browsing the flickr bento pics and I found this http://www.flickr.com/photos/38166471@N04/3521374947/in/pool-justbento/
I have been searching for the right kind of seaweed for this recipe, but based on that photo, kombu would work fairly well. Although I think I will not be able to get that pretty green color..

What do you think?

maki
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

That's a type of kombu that is sold pre-cut like that, and is different from the kind you use to make dashi I think. It should certainly work. Or, try to find a 'mixed seaweed salad' packet (dried seaweed), which will give you a variety of textures.

Another thought - you might have better luck finding that green seaweed at a Korean market.

MitarashiDango
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Another thought, I think I will try both ^^
How long do they keep in the refridgerator?

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Actually, that was what I was attempting with that one, MitarashiDango. I completely forgot to post it to this thread!
I bought pre-shredded dried kombu, as Maki suggests, added soy, rice vinegar, a little sugar and chilli flakes - all to taste, I was experimenting! I wasn't as nice as the restaurant style one, but it made a pretty good substitute. Also, I found this shredded kombu produces a much stronger dashi when I boiled it up, so I kept that for a couple of days. It made absolutely delicious sushi rice, and yummy tamagoyaki. I'd be interested to know whether you can get hold of a greener seaweed at Korean market, so let us know how you get on!

I still have some more of that lovely shredded kombu, so if my further experiments bear any fruit I'll let you know!

Oh, and as for keeping it I wouldn't trust it in the fridge for more than 3 days, although it didn't even last that long for me!

heavens earth
Bento-ing from: Winnipeg › Manitoba › Canada
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Im looking for a wakami salad recipe too! it seems to taste slightly sweet and always has sesame seeds in it - I love it! I bought some wakami to make it with today, but im not sure if I need to cook the wakami or just rehydrate it?

sushidushi
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad
heavens earth wrote:

Im looking for a wakami salad recipe too! it seems to taste slightly sweet and always has sesame seeds in it - I love it! I bought some wakami to make it with today, but im not sure if I need to cook the wakami or just rehydrate it?

I sometimes make a wakame and cucumber salad. I pour boiling water over the wakame (not the same thing as the seaweed mentioned by the original poster, which I don't know, but it's lovely) and let it soak for several minutes. It can get a bit slimy if you leave it too long, though I don't mind that.

For the cucumber, I slice it lengthways and scoop out the seeds and then slice it very thinly (usually using a mandolin) to make half moon shapes. You could peel it if you are so inclined, but I don't tend to bother. Sprinkle a little salt over the cucumber and leave it for 10 minutes or so to draw out some of the moisture. Give it a squeeze and put it in a bowl with the drained wakame.

For the dressing, I mix Japanese rice vinegar (like Mitsukan) with sugar in about a 2:1 ratio and simply mix it in with the green stuff.

Lastly lightly dry roast some white sesame seeds in a frying pan and sprinkle them on the salad, either whole or crushed a bit.

Hope this makes sense. It might not be a proper Japanese recipe - Makiko might be able to shed light on that! - but it's rather tasty and quicker to make than to type!

MitarashiDango
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

The long-dreaded weekend finally came and I tried making this for real!! (I was very, very busy with assignments.. *sigh*)
I asked my korean friend about it and he gave me a recipe. The method of preparing this salad is actually the same as Maki's namuru, with the addition of kochugaru (red pepper flakes) for some heat.. And yes, you have to cook your seaweed till it turns bright green.

I used dried pre-shredded kombu and the result was..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36536615@N08/3578279626/

The kombu was overcooked. I cooked it for good 20 minutes and waited for it to turn green, but it softened and softened itself.. so I called it quits and just went ahead with making the salad - adding some thinly sliced cucumber.

I'm still learning.. I shall try with salted kombu next time, I hope it will turn bright green when cooked ><

k. kunhiraman
Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I just ate two helpings of that salad at Kirala in Berkeley (the best!) and I am sure they make their own dressing. From previous experiments I have an approximation - rice vinegar, sweet mirin, soy sauce, ginger, sesame paste, toasted sesame seeds. My question is, how does one make this with fresh seaweed? I will be on Cape Cod with a very seaweedy beach at hand and we are hot to experiment some more.
does anyone know the scientific name for the right kind of seaweed? And how it should be processed? Thanks.

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Don't know what the proper seaweed is called, but I do know that there are no poisonous seaweeds. You are safe experimenting with whatever you find (so long as it's not in sewage-polluted water of course). Some seaweeds are less palatable than others, but none will actually hurt you.

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Pandy
Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I found the correct seaweed in my local asian store, it's in a refrigerated package, also the vegetable is presliced, they come in a dark color, but when you soak them overnight to rid them of thier salting, they expand double into the bright green gelatinous strings we've all been craving. Unfortunatly, it does not say what kind of seaweed is in the package, just know it's in the fridge, it's salted, pre cut into strings and needs to be reconstituted before salading. They should have a picture of the actual salad on the package. Good luck. And if anyone figures out what the heck is the dressing, please post it, that package has been sitting in my fridge for months...

anon.
Re: Japanese seaweed salad

The correct seaweed is called wakame (pron: waka-may) and the salad is called Goma Wakame (goma means sesame seed).

maki
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Woah, this is wrong. I am 100% sure the seaweed everyone is referring to is _not_ wakame, which has broader and thinner leaves than the seaweed everyone is talking about, which is thin and a bit chewy.

At this point I'm pretty sure that the seaweed salad that people are referring to is 1. one commonly seen at large 'Japanese' or Asian buffet-style restaurants, usually run by non-Japanese-origin Asian people (the kind with all-you-can-eat sushi bars and/or 'hibachi' grilled foods) and that its origins are more Korean than Japanese. Which is why I am having a hard time identifying the name of the seaweed, let alone the recipe - it's not really Japanese, just sort-of-Japanese-Korean-Asianesque.

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

I found packages of this type of seaweed for the first time several weeks ago. The package was labeled "wakame," but I'm not sure it actually WAS wakame. I have also seen this type of seaweed labeled "seaweed stem." If the store still has it the next time I go, I'll try and post a picture of the package. This is served at both the respectable sushi restaurants and the hibachi places in my area as "seaweed salad." Most of the Japanese restaurants in my area are Korean-owned, so I would agree that it's likely Japanese-Korean-Asianesque.

If you do an internet search for "wakame salad" or "seaweed salad," you can probably find an approximation made with wakame and thinly-sliced cucumber. It's not the same, but it does taste pretty good. The dressing tasted close to the unidentified restaurant dish in question. If I can find my recipe, I'll post it.

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

Wow. The thread that refuses to die! I have also seen this called Chuka Wakame, and yes, many people say that is it made from stems - it is certainly not made with the same wakame 'leaves'(!) that I put in my miso soup, anyway! If you come up with a recipe, another_amanda, it would be great if you could share it. I have seen packets of this for wholesale to restaurants in my local asian supermarket, but I would rather have a nice homemade version than the msg-tastic one you get in restaurants...however moreish the msg makes it!

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

A colleague of mine has just been in Japan at a marine algae (seaweed) conference, and brought back a package of dried seaweed that might be the one you're referring to. We asked Yoshio what it was, and he drew a picture of kelp and said that the bits that wave around in the sea were the bits that go in your miso, but the bits that we call a "holdfast" (he didn't know the English) and resemble the roots of a plant (although they don't have the same function) were the bits in the package. The instructions say to soak it for 10-15 minutes in water, then pour boiling water over it, then refresh in in cold water, then put it on top of your rice, then put a raw egg on top. All in pictures!

maki
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad
bronwyncarlisle wrote:

A colleague of mine has just been in Japan at a marine algae (seaweed) conference, and brought back a package of dried seaweed that might be the one you're referring to.

I am positive it's not the same. The kind that Bronwyn's colleague brought back is most likely mekabu (めかぶ)and has a slightly slimy texture when soaked/reconstituted. There is also something called kukiwamae (茎わかめ) which are the stems of wakame. I guess this might be the closest.

In any case, for practical culinary purposes, you can get bags of the seaweed everyone's talking about that is used in the salad with that sort of sesame-slightly spicy dressing at Korean markets. It's greenish-brown, not browny-brown (I know this is confusing since Korean markets usually carry a lot of Japanese stuff too.)

I'll try to take a picture of a bag when I'm better settled.

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
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Found it!

I bought a package. Here are the pictures:

http://zeldad20.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/seaweed.gif

WARNING: BIG FILE! My sister let me put it on her blog. I left the pictures huge. The text isn't the clearest, so if we have any Korean speakers who may be able to read the package, let me know and I'll see if I can get you some clearer pictures of the text. In English, this package says "salted seaweed stem." The cooking directions on the back say "Soak the seaweed stem in cold water for 5 minutes and rinse and drain. Mix the seaweed stem with various kinds of Korean condiments such as soy sauce(or anchovy sauce or hot bean paste), vinegar, scallion, garlic, sesame, etc. Add salad oil, scallion, garlic and sesame and stir-fry on the low heat."
This package was refrigerated next to another package of the same brand labeled "wakame." That one looked as one would expect wakame to look.

Since the package is obviously in Korean, I searched my favorite Korean food blog for information on this seaweed salad. The Korean word for "wakame" is "miyeok/미역." The big green bar on the package, as best as I can read, says "chulgi miyeok/julki miyeok." The forum on this blog also had people confused about this salad (judging from the links that were posted), and they guess it's "chuka wakame," a Chinese seaweed salad:
http://www.maangchi.com/talk/topic/how-do-you-make-seaweed-salad

Other sites call it "kuki wakame" or "chuka wakame" and suggest that "chuka" is a type of wakame or other seaweed that comes from Hawaii. This would explain its popularity and association with Japan in the US. Other sites suggest it is a brand name. Regardless of what "chuka wakame" _actually_ is, it seems to be a well-accepted name for this dish. "Chuka," "kuki," and "chulgi" all sound similar. I could not "chulgi" in my Korean dictionary.
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+15947
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=90123
I can't find my original recipe that I had for that I had for an approximation of this salad, but it was similar to, if not the same as, this:
http://www.straitscafe.com/recipes/208.htm

Gnoe
Bento-ing from: Utrecht › Netherlands (Holland, Europe)
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Re: Japanese seaweed salad

My two cents... I currently read that the salad is made of the stems and ribs of wakame, not the leaf itself. That would explain the term 'kuki' meaning twig (like in kukicha).

Hyllyn
Re: Japanese seaweed salad

As someone else already pointed out, what you are after for that jelly texture is this http://www.edenfoods.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=109030

Mekabu when you are shown the Wakame seaweed is part a frilly part at the bottom of it which gets suitably shredded and the sticky texture comes from a naturally occurring sugar.

Enjoy and you can tell others so that it gets properly named around.

anon.
Re: Japanese seaweed salad

If you can find the seaweed--usually packed in salt (soak, rinse, drain) try this dressing:

Dressing for Wakame Salad (from Japanese Cookbook)
********************************************
CORRECTION: for 1-1/2 cup fresh wakame seaweed (May substitute cucumber for half of wakame

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Japanese chili pepper powder
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger root, peeled and chopped

Wash salt off fresh wakame seaweed and soak for about 5 minutes. Chop into 1-inch pieces. If you use dried seaweed, soak it in water for about 20 minutes, remove the hard parts, and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss with wakame just before serving. Garnish with chopped ginger.

Brett
Re: Japanese seaweed salad

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