This salad is both gorgeous and delicious. The crispy texture of the cucumbers pairs well with the seaweed and the flavors are fresh and invigorating.
For 4 servings:
-30 g dried wakame seaweed
-2 Japanese cucumbers
-4 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
-1 tsp salt
For sanbaizu (three-flavor vinegar):
-2 tbsp rice vinegar
-2 drops soy sauce
-1 1/3 tbsp sugar
-1/3 tsp salt
-1 tbsp dashi stock
Soak the dried wakame seaweed in cold water until it is soft (about 20 minutes). Remove any hard areas and then chop the seaweed coarsely. Rinse in hot water and then plunge into cold water to retain the texture and color of the seaweed. Drain and squeeze to remove excess water.
Slice the cucumbers very thinly (about 1/8 inch). You can choose to make round cuts or thin strips depending on how you like your salad. After cutting, soak in salt water (2/3 cup of water with 1 tsp salt) for about 5 minutes. Drain.
Combine the sanbaizu (three-flavor vinegar) ingredients and mix in a bowl.
*Note: You can either buy dashi stock pre-made or you can make it yourself from scratch or with a mix. I chose use insant dashi granules which can be purchased at a local Japanese market. Any brand you find will come with directions on the back for how to make the stock. I used the proportions of 1 tsp of dashi granules for 6 cups of water. I would consider this on the weaker side, so adjust according to your own taste.
Place the cucumber and seaweed in a bowl and add the sanbaizu and toss. Serve each person a small helping of the salad in their own serving dishes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!
Adapted from Japanese Cuisine for Everyone