Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brown Seaweed Salad

Found my local Super H-mart a little while back and had picked up some deli made brown seaweed salad. It tasted pretty good with all of the flavors being light in a lightly sweet pickling brine. I compare the brine close to the recipe that my mom taught me to make sweet dill cucumber pickles but not quite as sweet.
Anyway...after a quick search on the internet, I found out that konbu and wakame are considered brown seaweeds. Since I already had the konbu in the house, I figured it would be a simple matter to pick up the wakame and make this salad myself.
Well...things aren't always what they seem. The wakame rehydrated to a nice lightly crisp green about the color of lightly steamed spinach. I had trouble with the konbu. The konbu leaves tend to rehydrate with a layer of mucus that is hard to separate from the leaves. Also these uncooked leaves are a bit tough and chewy. Not knowing what else to do, I went ahead and made them into the salad. I hoped that the vinegar would neutralize the mucus from the konbu leaves. It really didn't. Now the mucus doesn't take away from the salad's taste but it does make it daunting to want to eat it due to the texture. So back to the internet for more research.
The few recipes that had both the konbu and wakame as salad indgredients don't say specifically what to do about the konbu. These recipes ASSUME that you've used the konbu for making dashi and that means it is already cooked and tender. So...if you want to use konbu in a salad you have to cook it first. I am presuming that this will remove the mucus as well as make the konbu easier to chew. I'll have to look in to dashi recipes as to how long I should cook the konbu.