Introduction: Seaweed Salad - Chuka Wakame
I feel cheated. You see, I love those little containers of seaweed salad at the grocery store sushi bar. The neon green yummy slivers of seaweed. They must be hard to make, since they are so expensive (anywhere from $5 to $7 a piece where I live).
They aren't. In fact, the grocery store seaweed salad comes frozen from Japan in 4.4 pound bags that cost a whopping...ready? $32 (not including some crazy shipping costs). Yep, and that is if you buy it on Amazon. Check the link. Want to know the kicker? It doesn't even contain that much seaweed. It is largely agar-agar, seaweed stems, food coloring, and seasonings (including sugar).
The first time I made real seaweed salad at home it blew my mind. It tastes better, costs less, and is much better for you. If you can give up the translucent neon green color, you just might agree.
Step 1: Soak Seaweed
In a bowl, soak and rinse the seaweed with cool water for about 5 minutes, squeezing and pulling it apart. As you can see from the photos, it will increase in size considerably and start to look like actual seaweed.
A tip:Since you only need an ounce, pull that much out of the bag then cut it with a knife instead of removing it all the way. Once the dried seaweed is out of the bag it is really tough to get it back in without little pieces going everywhere.
Step 2: Pat and Chop
Using the cook's secret weapon* (a surgical huck towel), pat the seaweed dry. Chop the seaweed into 2-3-inch long pieces and place in a bowl.
*Surgical huck towels are cheap, lint-free, sturdy, and easy to sterilize. I keep a stack on the counter in my kitchen and use them instead of paper towels, dish towels, and dish rags.
Step 3: Season
Throw all the ingredients in the bowl with the seaweed and toss well. Enjoy!