Let's be honest. I know that you didn't wake up this morning thinking to yourself, "I can't wait to eat a giant bowl of seaweed." (And if you did think that, you have my undying admiration.) Let's just say that I didn't wake up this morning thinking that either.
But, I know that sea vegetables are really important for my health. Seaweed is chock full of good stuff like B Vitamins, folic acid, and Vitamins C and E. It is also incredibly rich in minerals like magnesium and calcium and a good source of iodine, iron, and chlorophyll. This is especially important because over the past few years our soil has lost minerals so we aren't getting as many from our food as we used to. As much as I hate the smell of the ocean, and especially seaweed, I'm gonna eat my sea vegetables.
Over time I have learned to enjoy nori in sushi, wakame (a dried brown seaweed used in cooking) in soups, and kombu (edible kelp) added to beans while cooking. But I never thought I would be able to enjoy arame. Until now.
Arame grows off the coast of Japan and has a delicate texture. Since it is typically eaten in salads, I wasn't sure if I would be able to stomach the "oceany" taste, but this salad left me pleasantly surprised. This recipe begins with soaking the arame in water and since it grows in size, a little under two ounces will give you more than enough to feed four to six people.
I think this salad will surprise you. Since the arame is cooked in apple juice, it ends up tasting pleasantly sweet rather than oceany. Combined with greens, veggies, and other herbs, this salad just ends up tasting really fresh and healthy - in a good way.
If you are saving this recipe to serve later, keep the arame separate from the other ingredients so that the greens stay fresh. Black-eyed peas are optional here, but they definitely add a little protein and make this more satisfying as a meal. This salad is perfect as a light lunch or dinner. Not only will it leave you satisfied and full of important vitamins and minerals, but it will give you full bragging rights that you not only ate seaweed and survived... but you actually enjoyed it!
Gingered Sea Vegetable Salad
Slightly adapted from Birgitte Antonsen
Serves 4 to 6
Sea Vegetable Mixture
About 2 ounces (1 bag) arame sea vegetable, soaked in cold water for 15 - 20 minutes
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 cups fresh apple juice
3 Tablespoons raw agave syrup
3 Tablespoons tamari
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
1 bunch of collard greens, stems removed, finely shredded
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas (optional)
3 green onions, diagonally sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Soak arame in cold water for 15 - 20 minutes. Rinse and strain.
In a skillet, sauté the arame with the coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Add the apple juice and let it simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Remove lid and sauté until liquid has evaporated. Add the agave, tamari, garlic, and ginger. Saute until liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
Massage collard greens with olive oil and lemon juice. Mix salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Mix sea vegetables and salad mixture together just before serving.