My favorite way to start a Japanese meal is with a crisp, cool, slippery seaweed salad. If you ask me, seaweed is one of the coolest superfoods out there. First of all, it’s packed with antioxidants and natural iodine. Second, research suggests that seaweed can help regulate estrogen and estradiol levels, which may reduce the risk of breast cancer, help control PMS, and aid female fertility. And finally, I assume mermaids eat it. So.


A seaweed and lettuce salad. (Image: Food Group on Flickr)

One night I visited a Japanese friend’s apartment for dinner and found myself munching on a beautiful little mixed seaweed salad. It was all translucent sea-green and pearly white, with delicately crunchy sprigs of red that looked like coral, drizzled in sesame dressing and sprinkled with scallions. “Oh my God,” I groaned. “I wish I knew how to make this.”

My friend gave me a pitying look, went back into the kitchen, and returned with a bag of dried mixed seaweed. “Add water, buy dressing,” he said, and then shrugged. Boom. 

If you’re new to seaweed salad, a flavorful sesame dressing is a great way to introduce this refreshing new texture to your palate. Sesame seeds add extra crunch, and finely chopped scallions make a perfect garnish. Soon you’ll want to taste every weed in the sea!

Super Easy Sesame Seaweed Salad Recipe


A sampling of seaweed salad mixes and sesame dressings.

What you need:

  • 1 bag of dried seaweed salad mix
  • Sesame dressing
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Scallion (to garnish)

How to make it:

  1. Put seaweed into a large bowl, one loose handful per serving.
  2. Fill the bowl with cold water and let the seaweed soak for 5-10 minutes. For crunchy salad, go for 5 minutes. For a tender texture, go for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the seaweed and use clean hands to squeeze out any excess water. Wipe excess water out of the bowl and place the seaweed back in.
  4. Add the sesame dressing and sesame seeds to the bowl and toss seaweed thoroughly to combine the ingredients.
  5. Plate the salad and garnish with a sprinkle of scallions.

And there you have it! You’ve mastered one of the loveliest essentials of Japanese cuisine. And it’s safe to say your mermaid cred is on the rise.

Interested in more Japanese cooking tips? Check out our crazy trick for turning basic pasta into ramen noodles!

Main Image: Ken Hawkins on Flickr


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