FOOD

Japanese Seaweed Salad…My Latest Craze

Recently, I came across a dried seaweed promotion at Isetan Scotts (basement). Seeing the crowd of (auntie) shoppers hovering territorially over the baskets of dried seaweed, I found myself reaching over heads for a cup of cooked seaweed for a taste.

Yum. The seaweed was deliciously chewy and crunchy. Tastes like the ocean.

The best part: It is extremely easy to prepare. Just soak the dried seaweed in a bowl of water for 5-15mins. Drain. Add the salad dressing. Done. Simple right?

I was just about to reach out to purchase a bag of dried seaweed when I gasped.

For a 30g bag of dried seaweed, it costs a whopping $16. The promotion was buy-3-get-1 free. That is a cool $48 for 120g of seaweed. At that point, I was not sure if I actually liked seaweed THAT MUCH.

But I liked the idea of it. Not wanting to give up on my latest discovery of eating seaweed, I walked down a few more aisles and found another brands of Japanese seaweed with a less frightening price tag that I could afford. I picked two different varieties: Wakaoi Shinme Kombu (65g for $9.90) and Wakame (35g for $3.95). I also added a bottle of Japanese roasted sesame nut salad dressing to my purchase.

I have to say, I am now hooked on homemade seaweed salads – made in less than 10 minutes! This has to be one of my latest craze…Japanese seaweed salad for dinner.

What’s in my salad?
+ Iceberg lettuce
+ Beansprouts
+ Japanese cucumbers
+ Wakaoi shinme kombu (Soak for 15 mins and drain)
+ Wakame (Soaked for 5 mins and drain)
+ Teriyaki chicken, Prawns, Tuna and/or Fish Cakes (optional)
+ Japanese roasted sesame salad dressing

For discerning readers who may wonder if Japanese seaweed is safe to eat, especially after the Fukushima meltdown, the quick answer is YES.

In general, all imported Japanese food products are innately safe for consumption. In accordance with strict regulations in Japan, any products with the slightest exposure to radiation will not be in the market in Japan, much less outside of Japan. Furthermore, not all seaweed is harvested in the ocean near Fukushima, and many of the seaweed farms in the area were wiped out by the tsunami anyway.

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