Seaweed Salad with Miso Dressing 海藻サラダ

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  • Healthy and refreshing seaweed salad recipe. Served with cherry tomato over green leaf lettuce and drizzled with miso dressing, this vibrant salad is a delicious change to the usual salads at your dinner table. 

    Seaweed Salad with Miso Dressing in a white dish.

    Surrounded by the ocean, we eat all kinds of seaweeds in Japan. These sea vegetables are used extensively in Japanese cuisine for its health properties and deep unique flavors. The diversity of seaweeds are just as vast as the ocean. Some of the more familiar varieties include nori that are used for sushi and rice balls (onigiri), kombu for dashi soup broth ,and wakame for miso soup and salad.

    Little did I know seaweed is considered a “strange food” until I came to the US, so I was surprised to receive many requests for a Seaweed Salad recipe from readers around the globe.

    It was wonderful to know that there are more people who enjoy eating seaweed than I had thought.  When you asked me for a “seaweed salad”, it’s possible you were looking for this type of seaweed salad below, which is commonly served at Japanese sushi restaurants in the U.S.

    Restaurant Seaweed Salad in a bowl.

    The salad is little bit spicy but overall quite sweet and crunchy. However, this particular seaweed salad does NOT actually exist in Japan. Since it’s been a while I live in the US, I had asked my friends in Japan to confirm.

    Out of curiosity, I looked up what the salad is made of.  Besides a mixture of seaweed, seaweed stem (kuki wakame) and seaweed sprout (mekabu), there were some ingredients that I had not expected. They include artificial dyed agar agar (a type of seaweed-based gelatin), MSG and high fructose corn syrup. I asked the workers at sushi restaurants how they make the salad from scratch, and to my surprise they all said they actually purchase the seaweed salad pre-made.

    Seaweed Salad with Miso Dressing in a white dish.

    Needless to say, I didn’t make the copycat version.  But instead, I wanted to share the traditional style seaweed salad that we eat in Japan.  It’s a lot healthier and even more delicious than the seaweed salad from restaurants.

    For this recipe, I used dried seaweed salad mix purchased at my local Japanese grocery store.  A well-stocked Asian grocery store should carry them as well.  The seaweed mixture is very easy to use, you just need to soak them in cold water for a few minutes to soften and then drain well before tossing with dressing. There are many kinds of dressing that would go well with the salad such as this homemade Sesame Dressing.  Today I made our favorite Miso Dressing which is packed with umami!  

    In case you can’t find the dried seaweed salad mix, you can use a more widely available wakame seaweed (the kind you see in miso soup) as substitution.  Soak wakame untill tender and drain completely, toss it with thinly shredded cucumber and some cherry tomatoes, you will have a vibrant, refreshing seaweed salad to enjoy.

    Seaweed Salad with Miso Dressing on a wooden table.


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    5 from 1 vote
    Seaweed Salad |
    Seaweed Salad
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins
    Healthy and refreshing seaweed salad recipe. Served with cherry tomato over green leaf lettuce and drizzled with miso dressing, this vibrant salad is a delicious change to the usual salads at your dinner table. 
    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: seaweed, wafu dressing
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    Miso Dressing:
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Seaweed Salad Ingredients
    2. Soak the dry seaweed salad mix in cold water for 5-8 minutes. Drain the seaweed and squeeze out the excess water. Serve the seaweed in individual bowls or large serving bowl. Chill the salad before serving.
      Seaweed Salad 1
    3. For the dressing, use a mortar and pestle to grind the sesame seeds. This will add nice aroma and texture to the dressing.
      Seaweed Salad 2
    4. Combine Miso Dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Put the dressing in a small bowl or dressing bottle. Mix or shake the dressing before pouring to the salad.
      Seaweed Salad 3
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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