Hijiki is an edible seaweed with a black and shredded appearance. It’s usually sold dried and eaten in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine.
Hijiki (ひじき・鹿尾菜・羊栖菜) is a seaweed harvested on rocky coastlines of Japan, Korea, and China. It’s green to brown when harvested, then turns black when boiled and dried.
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What Is Hijiki
Hijiki seaweed (Sargassum fusiforme) has a black and shredded appearance. Farmers harvest the seaweed in the spring between spring during low tide. This traditional food has been a part of a balanced diet in Japan for centuries. It’s rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals.
The Japanese consume it in Hijiki Salad, a side dish featuring hijiki, carrots, konnyaku/konjac, edamame, and aburaage seasoned with dashi broth, soy sauce, mirin, and sake. It’s also mixed into steamed rice, formed into onigiri, or cooked in a sweet-savory sauce for furikake.
What Does It Taste
It has a savory and earthy flavor with a less pronounced briny taste than other seaweeds such as wakame and nori. It has a pleasant crunch and chewy bite after cooking.
How To Use
Before using hijiki in cooking, soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain well, rinse under running water, and it’s ready for use.
Recipes Using Hijiki
Where To Buy
Find it in the dried foods aisle of Japanese, Asian, and Korean supermarkets and natural food stores. Store cooked hijiki in the fridge and consume within 3-4 days.
Regarding Hijiki Food Safety Warning
You might see a Prop 65 warning label on the kombu product. Kombu doesn’t cause cancer specifically; however, seaweeds grown in Japan are harvested in water with higher traces of heavy metals than seaweeds harvested elsewhere in the world. Some health agencies have warned against consuming hijiki, which contains more inorganic arsenic than other kombu. But there is no ban anywhere in the world against hijiki or other seaweed.
All kombu contain traces of organic arsenic, but not in quantities that can hurt you. If you don’t consume to eat a large amount of it every day, it’s safe to eat. However, companies are required to put a Prop 65 warming label on their products in California.