Well folks, I lost a bet. I wasn’t told to shave half my head. Or eat a whole can of cat food. I was simply asked to make some seaweed salad.
Not a horrible punishment, really, as far as bets go.
The next time you see a baby becoming BFFs with another baby, think seaweed salad. Or if you see a toddler looking at its own reflection, think seaweed salad.
Why am I asking you to associate slimy, green, yet delicious salad with the cute and squishy faces of babies? Because I lost—terribly, I might add—at “Baby Bingo”, a game made up by my friend who I’ve known since the third grade. A few weeks ago, we found ourselves foolishly staring at babies and decided to make a game out of it. More chances to stare at the children of strangers? YOU GOT IT.
My friend, we’ll call her “SLDKJFLSDKJF” for now, created a bingo board filled with various actions babies might be spotted doing. Here’s the complete board game, so you can stare at babies too.
As the loser, I had to make whatever my friend wanted for dinner. I don’t know how she thought of it, but the answer was seaweed salad (if you’re thinking of babies when you read “seaweed salad”, then my job here is done).
The hardest part about this recipe was finding the ingredients. I’m used to searching the manicured aisles of Trader Joe’s, so going to my local Asian market was terrifying, overwhelming, fantastic, and above all, eye opening. I had to physically restrain myself from buying ALL of the plum wines and scrumptious custard buns presented at eye level.
I followed JapanCentre.com’s seaweed salad recipe, which required two types of seaweed and the juice of a yuzu. I was painfully unfamiliar with either of these items and had a steep learning curve. Half the aisle was comprised of dried seaweed. I picked two–and I think one of them was sort of wrong—and settled for lime juice since they were out of yuzu juice (bummer). In the end, the seaweed salad was delicious. Not as crunchy or as bright green as what you would see at stores or in restaurants, but still just the right amount of different.
The second-to-best part about making seaweed salad? You now have the ingredients to make basic miso soup!
Recipe for Loser’s Seaweed Salad
Time: 25 minutes prep, at least 20 minutes chill = 45 minutes
Difficulty: As easy as it was for “SLDKJFLSDKJF”to win Baby Bingo
- 100g of dried seaweed (mixture of Wakame and Hijiki)/already prepared sea vegetable salad
- 2 tbsp awase miso
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp white roasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp yuzu juice (* alternative: lime juice)
- 2 red chilli, finely sliced
- pinch of sea salt
- Let your seaweed swim. Okay, you have two options here. You can take the easy route and buy already prepared sea vegetable salad. Or. You can buy two kinds of dried seaweed—Wakame and Hijiki—and re-hydrate them.
- if you picked the easy route: ‘nuf said.
- if you picked the dried seaweed route (like I did), keep reading
- Combine both types of seaweed in a medium-sized bowl (try to pour an even amount). Then add enough water to cover the greens. The seaweed will drink up the water and come back to life. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- See (to) the salad dressing. While your seaweed is freshening up—unless you chose the easy route, then just start here—combine all of the other ingredients in a medium sized bowl. So the awase miso, soy sauce, mirin, sesame seeds, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice (or yuzu, if you found it), chili peppers, and salt. Mix with a whisk. The mixture shouldn’t be too thick and should have an aroma as delightful as a fresh cracked peanut.
- Drain and gain. Drain the seaweed using a strainer or colander. After it’s significantly dry, place it back in the bowl. Then, pour the dressing over it and stir. Add some more sesame seeds on top (for looks, mostly).
- Chill out with your weed. Cover the seaweed with saran wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (or until it’s thoroughly chilled).
- Hella wicked good, brah. k.a. enjoy your fantastic salad from the sea!
This salad would be most complemented if you serve it with some white rice and sushi. Or make yourself a cup of green tea. Yummy yummy.
Quick Clean Up
Try not to get the sesame seeds everywhere. It is immensely un-fun to clean those guys up. Also…when disposing of the chili pepper seeds. DO NOT touch your eyes. I repeat. DO NOT. You will literally have great (eye) balls of fire.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
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