It’s a common practice to heat up some oil with dried chili peppers and pour it over the seaweed salad. It will quickly “cook” the ginger and garlic in the sauce, making them less pungent and more aromatic.
We add seaweed to various dishes to add texture, flavor, and nutrition. For example, my mom sometimes adds a thin type of seaweed (rehydrated dried wakame) to egg drop soup. She uses thick-cut seaweed strips (like in this recipe) to braise pork to cut the grease and infuse a rich taste into the sauce. The seaweed will end up tasting so good served with the sauce.
Edible seaweed comes in all shapes and sizes and is used differently. For example, the thin and tender wakame is often used in Japanese seaweed salad and soup. The Small needle-like hijiki is used in stews and appetizers. The Chinese seaweed salad requires the thick meaty seaweed (or kombu).
3. Garlic infused oil
No matter whether you’re using rehydrated or fresh seaweed, you’ll need to boil it before making the salad. The boiling time varies depending on how the seaweed is cut, its thickness, and the texture. I found that sometimes it takes as little as 10 minutes to cook, and other times it takes up to 20 minutes. The best way to go is to keep an eye on the seaweed and taste it until it reaches your desired texture. When it’s finished cooking, the seaweed should turn tender but not mushy. Like pasta, you can cook it until al dente if you prefer a chewy texture. Or cook it until very tender (which is the way I prefer).
If you think that seaweed is a relatively modern food fad for health junkies and detoxing vegans, you’d be wrong. As an ingredient, seaweed (海带, hǎi dài, sometimes known as kelp) has been eaten in China since prehistoric times and is one of the foods to which Chinese people attribute their first-rate health and longevity.
Tender meaty seaweed served in a savory, sour, and garlicky sauce. This Chinese seaweed salad is very easy to make and is a perfect cold appetizer to add nutrition to your meal in the summer.
One of our summer staples is this cold seaweed salad. It is made with tender and meaty seaweed strips, mixed in a savory and sour sauce and finished up with garlic-infused hot oil. It’s easy to make, tastes good, and stays well after being stored in the fridge. When it’s too hot to make stir-fried veggies, my mom usually serves this quick cold appetizer with congee and dumplings.
For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine rice vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Cover and shake well to combine.*
Create the popular Asian restaurant seaweed salad recipe at home. A variety of seaweed types adds flavor and color contrast.
Place the seaweed in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands. If the seaweed is in large pieces, cut in thin shreds.
In a serving bowl combine seaweed, kelp noodles, and vegetables, if desired. Add dressing and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Seaweed salad has been called “The Green Superfood’ because it is full of antioxidants, calcium and vitamins. This version has tons of flavor because of the sesame oil, tamari, fresh ginger and garlic. It also has green onions, apple, cilantro and is topped with sesame seeds. This is the “Superfood” seaweed salad with a huge flavor punch!
I have had many varieties of seaweed salad but they all seemed to be missing something to make me want to eat it again or actually really enjoy it. When I added the thin stips of green apple to the salad, I got a nice variety of texture. The tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic add to the great flavor. This is not your ordinary seaweed salad, you might just want to make double!