This Hijiki Salad features mild hijiki seaweed, shelled edamame, shredded carrots, fried tofu puffs, and avocado cubes. It’s a really nice combination of textures with flavors ranging from nutty to creamy and a subtle taste of the sea. It’s also super nutritious.
Why Hijiki Salad
I didn’t know about hijiki seaweed until a few months ago but I’m glad I stumbled across it. I picked some up when I was getting another kind of seaweed, fueru wakame, for the Japanese Buddha Bowl Meal Prep Recipe. I experimented with hijiki and really enjoyed it. The flavor is not too different from other seaweeds, but maybe milder. And the texture is a bit like very tender wild rice.
The nutrition of Hijiki Salad
Even a small amount of hijiki seaweed contains high amounts of valuable nutrients. Like most seaweeds, it is rich in iodine, which, depending on the type of salt you use, and how much of it you use, you may not get getting enough of. Other nutrients include iron, calcium, and fiber, which are beneficial to everyone, whether plant-based eaters or not.
The ingredients in the salad
When developing this recipe, I wanted to stay relatively true to the traditional Japanese flavors, with just some minor tweaks. Traditional ingredients include the carrot, fried tofu puff (aburaage), and sesame seeds. I added some avocado, which goes well with many Japanese sea flavors and adds some creaminess to the dish. The seasoning is almost traditional – sake, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Maple is not a Japanese ingredient but it does well in this case.
The preparation method
The method in this recipe is pretty traditional and involves rehydrating the seaweed, then sauteeing all the ingredients together, at the same time reducing the sauce in the same pan. It is possible to rehydrate the seaweed and eat it raw, but this method firms up the seaweed, so it’s less soggy, and concentrates the flavors of the sauce.
Some cooking notes
The hijiki needs at least 30 minutes to rehydrate. You can rehydrate it in advance, drain it, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge if you want the cooking to go quickly.
You can also store the completed salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
The salad can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled. If you plan to reheat it, I recommend removing the avocado before doing so, then adding it back.
You can replace the maple syrup for any other sweetener of your choice.
Other plant-based Japanese recipes
If you try this recipe out, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @gastroplant on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
- 1/2 cup dried hijiki seaweed
- 1/2 large carrot julienned or shredded
- 2 sheets aburaage fried tofu puff, cut into strips
- 1/2 cup shelled cooked edamame
- 1/2 large avocado cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil
- 2 Tablespoons sake
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or vegetarian dashi
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Place hijiki in a large bowl and cover with at least 4 cups of water. Rehydrate for at least 30 minutes. Drain and rinse hijiki
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the carrot and stir for 1 minute. Add the aburaage and drained hijiki and stir for 1 more minute.
- Add the sake, soy sauce, maple syrup, and vegetable broth (or dashi) and stir well. Turn to medium-high heat. Stir and cook until the liquid has nearly evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the edamame annd continue to stir until the liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and add the sesame seeds. Stir well. You can serve it immediately, allow it to cool, or even chill it before serving. Serve with avocado cubes.