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She Eats Seaweed

September 1, 2010

Unfortunately for me, NOT by the seashore!

Greetings, friends.  Another school day has come and gone…are we really in the second week?  Before I know it, the semester will be halfway through.  My classes were great today…I hate to jinx myself, but I really seem to have gotten a strong group of students for all three classes.  Here’s hoping I’m still saying that at the end of the semester!

This morning, I did all of the prep work for a delicious Asian noodle dish for dinner tonight.

First up, tofu:  I pressed a firm tofu cake in my tofu press for a few hours, then dried it off and covered it with my go-to tofu marinade.

Go-To Tofu Marinade

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. mirin

1 tsp. plum wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. ginger (optional, depending on the dish you’ll be using the tofu for)

1 tbsp. shoyu (or soy sauce)

I cut the tofu into one inch cubes, toss it in the marinade, and pop it into the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Voila! Perfect tofu!

*       *       *

We were using the tofu for an Asian seaweed noodle dish.  After reading about some of the benefits of incorporating seaweed into one’s diet the other day, I spotted various types of Seaweed packets at Wegman’s and snatched up a bunch to experiment with.  Today, hijiki was on the menu.  Hijiki is black and comes dried.  When you reconstitute it with water, it grows in size and becomes slippery…it almost looks like little tadpole tails or something!

I covered .5 ounces of hijiki in water for thirty minutes, then drained and rinsed it.  While the hijiki was soaking, I julienned two carrots and cut a red bell pepper into thin red strips.  When the hijiki was finished reconstituting, I added it to the veggies.  Before I added the hijiki to the veggies, I tasted a little bite of it plain.  It tasted pretty salty and kind of…well, kind of like the sea! It almost reminded me of caviar, in a way.

To the veggies and hijiki, I added a very simple dressing that was a lot like the tofu marinade: 1 tsp. sesame oil, 2 tsp. plum wine vinegar, 1 tsp. mirin, and 2 tsp. shoyu. 

Once the tofu was done cooking, I let it cool and then added it to the veggies.  Stirred it all together, and popped it into the refrigerator, where it marinated and the flavors melded all day while we were teaching.

Finally, when we returned home from campus tonight, we cooked some rice noodles to toss in with the salad.  Before we added the noodles, we ran them under cold water so that they would go well with the cold salad. 

Whew! This was a simple dish to put together, but I guess it needed a lot of description! Anyway, the final product was absolutely delicious…a great meal to come home to after a long day of teaching!

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It’s been in the 90s here today, so this was the perfect cool dinner.  Enjoyed…yep, at the table! 🙂

Have you ever cooked with seaweed before?  I was a little nervous about it, but it definitely gave the salad an extra something special!

See you tomorrow!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 12:48 am

    That tofu looks delicious! Does your press really make a big difference in the taste? Cause I’m terrible when it comes to cooking tofu, but I might invest in one of those presses if it’s better! 🙂

    • September 1, 2010 12:58 am

      It doesn’t make a big difference in the taste, but it definitely does in the texture!!

  2. September 1, 2010 12:59 am

    I really like seaweed, but I’ve never cooked with it before. I’m totally impressed that you prepped your dinner in the morning – I need to start doing that!

  3. September 1, 2010 1:03 am

    This meal looks like a festival 🙂

    Have you ever tried wakame? It’s great! Especially in miso soups…

  4. September 1, 2010 1:32 am

    I have never even tried seaweed – I just might have to though!

  5. September 1, 2010 1:33 am

    The extent of my seaweed eating is nori, either in sushi or Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from Vegan Brunch. I’ve also been interested in eating more after learning of the health benefits, too. I think it will take a bit of experimentation. Oh, one other favorite I have is Annie Chun’s wasabi seaweed snacks. I’m not sure whether those have the nutritional benefits, though.

  6. September 1, 2010 1:49 am

    Glad class is going well so far. I hope it stays that way too! No, I never cooked with it, I have only had it with sushi. I will have to grab some and try it. Have a great night and I hope tomorrow goes well!

  7. highonhealthy permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:04 am

    That looks really good! And I have some tofu sitting in my fridge..and almost all the marinade ingredients.. hmm.

  8. September 1, 2010 2:09 am

    all i can think about right now is the ocean…

  9. September 1, 2010 4:51 am

    I have cooked with dulse flakes before but they are wayyyy too salty for me. Your food looks great, followed up with 17 gallons of agua if i ate the seaweed 🙂

    your coment to me cracked me up sooo hard, who is this blond amazon woman who goes to aruba for a month…. oh yes, that would be me 🙂 LOL


  10. September 1, 2010 11:30 am

    I’ve never cooked seaweed but have eaten it raw and I like it. I’ll have to give this one a whirl…it looks fantastic!

  11. September 1, 2010 11:54 am

    I’ve never cooked with seaweed but Trader Joe’s makes this roasted seaweed snack thing that I like a lot. It tastes like sushi to me.

  12. September 1, 2010 12:48 pm

    Looks great. I actually really like seaweed. I find myself craving a wakame salad even. Made my sis try it and now she’s hooked. I actually have some hijiki but only thought to use it in a soup.

  13. Ali permalink
    September 1, 2010 1:01 pm

    I really like incorporating seaweed in my meals! I took a ‘vegetables from the sea’ class at our Co-Op and it really gave me some great ideas. You should try arame – it’s easy to prepare (like the Hijiki) and has a mild flavor and a pleasing texture. I’ve made it in to a ‘slaw’ … soaked it and rinsed it, then added it to shredded carrots, onion, red peppers, celery, with a tofu garlic dressing that our local health food store makes fresh daily. Enjoy your seaweed adventures – and yes the health benefits are great!

  14. September 1, 2010 1:36 pm

    just the 90s?? lol. DC/CT is HOT!

    I love seaweed but really should experiment more. the only once I’ve used are nori, dulse, and agar.

  15. September 1, 2010 2:09 pm

    I have never cooked with seaweed before…I wouldn’t even know where to start! You never cease to amazine me Anna!

  16. September 1, 2010 3:53 pm

    I haven’t cooked with seaweed, but I love the texture of it. You are a rockstar Anna.

  17. September 1, 2010 4:28 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! And I must look into plum vinegar…

  18. September 1, 2010 4:42 pm

    Great way to add seaweed to a dish! I normally eat it plain… but I will try this dish for sure. I also have to start eating at my dining room table and not the coffee table!

  19. September 1, 2010 5:49 pm

    It’s amazing that you’re able to get dinner prep tasks done before you leave for work in the morning–I admire your organization 🙂

    I’ve never cooked with seaweed before, other than using it to make home-made sushi (yum!). Your dinner looks fantastic!

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