Wakame Seaweed
and Cucumber Salad

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This piquant wakame seaweed salad balances flavor and color when served with other vegetables or with meat or fish courses. Celery or tomatoes, and fruits, such as persimmons or apples, are also tasty salad ingredients. Wakame, rich in calcium and dietary fiber, is a non-caloric vegetable, well suited to a vinegary dressing. Be sure to mix the dressing just before serving or the salad will turn watery. One of the easiest Japanese salad kelp recipes.

3 ounces/ 90 g fresh wakame, sliced into 2-inch lengths
5 plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 small cucumbers, sliced thin
2 ounces/ 55 g shirasuboshi (dried tiny sardines), or canned salmon or tuna flakes, shreds of crab meat, or boiled chicken
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and shredded for garnish

Pour boiling water over the wakame, then immerse immediately in cold water to retain color. Drain and sprinkle 1 tablespoon vinegar over the seaweed.

Sprinkle salt over the cucumber slices, let stand for 5 minutes until soft and watery, then squeeze out excess water.

Blanch shirasuboshi in boiling water, drain, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon vinegar.

Combine the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce and stir until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the cucumber, shirasuboshi, and wakame seaweed. Garnish with shredded ginger and serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a salad course.

I'm no professional cook but really have a good nose -- ah yes, my nose :-) -- for finding and trying out mouthwatering seaweed salads. This one I found in Japanese Family-Style Recipes by Hiroko Urakami. Recipes are idiot-proof (if I can do it, so can you)!

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