Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seaweed (Kelp) and Bean Sprout Salad

Having a bunch of mom friends who have to continuously come up with fresh ideas for their kids really help to keep the inspiration flowing. One of my friends made this dish one day for a playgroup gathering, and she got the recipe from her friend, so I don't know where this recipe originated, nor is this the original recipe because I just replicated it on taste alone. I'll probably play around more with the seasoning in the future.

The seaweed in this dish is kelp, commonly called konbu or kombu in Japanese, or haidai in Chinese. The ones I got are in the form of fresh, unsalted strands and are slightly crunchy in texture. You can purchase them dried also.

If you buy them fresh, you will need to rinse them many times to get rid of that slimy feel. Cut them into six inch strips. Remove the ends of the mung bean sprouts. Add both the bean sprouts to the marinade for at least an hour minimum, but I always do it overnight because the "spiciness" of the garlic really comes out and it lessens the sea smell of the seaweed. If you have kids who can't eat spice, you might prepare some of the seaweed omitting the garlic.

For 2/3 pounds of seaweed and 1/2 cup bean sprouts, you'll need for the marinade:

1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup sugar

It's a different taste than that of wakame salad. I've tried adding sesame oil to this once but it didn't taste right in this combination. My kids love this salad because they find it different, but it provides another source of calcium for them, which I love.


Food For Tots said...

I use Konbu (dried) to cook my Japanese rice. It is flat something like dried beancurd stick. Same as ur fresh one?

shavedicesundays said...

food for tots, yeah it's the same thing. I'm pretty sure you can use the dried konbu by reconstituting it until softened and then cutting them into strips. Lots more work but at least you'll be left with a lot of dashi stock! They also sell the already shredded version (nalto) too.

gaga said...

Mmm, I love this salad as well as wakame salad. I wonder how they get wakame salad to be flourescent green! This seems much more natural to me =)

shavedicesundays said...

gaga, yes very different taste than the wakame salad at restaurants, and I believe that somtimes there is dye added, so perhaps that's why it's so bright.