Cucumber and Wakame Salad

This light, refreshing cucumber and wakame salad possesses just the right amount of thin, crunchy cucumber in proportion to delightfully chewy wakame seaweed, to tease your palate into wanting more.

Tip: Make the dressing, and soak and drain the wakame and cucumbers well in advance, refrigerating them until needed. Assembling and serving the salad then takes only moments.

Special sushi tools: Japanese mandoline or sharp knife

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup high-quality rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 ounce (10 grams) dried, ready-to-use wakame

2 Japanese cucumbers

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon slivered fresh gingerroot (optional)

  1. Stir the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce together until the sugar is dissolved.

    Refrigerate this dressing until needed, up to 3 or 4 days.

  2. Cover and soak the wakame in cold water until it softens, about 5 minutes.

  3. While the wakame is soaking, slice the cucumbers into very thin rounds, using a Japanese mandoline or a sharp knife.

  4. Drain the wakame and set it aside briefly.

  5. Soak the sliced cucumbers in the water seasoned with the salt for 5 minutes.

    Soaking the cucumbers softens them so that they absorb the rice vinegar dressing.

  6. Drain the cucumbers, gently squeezing out any excess moisture.

  7. Toss the softened wakame and cucumbers with one-fourth of the dressing.

  8. Place one-fourth of this salad in each of four small, shallow plates or bowls.

  9. Drizzle over a little more dressing and garnish with slivered gingerroot, if desired.

    Serve chilled or at room temperature.

You can serve the cucumber and wakame salad cold with flaked crabmeat or boiled shrimp; place the shellfish in one side of the bowl or toss it with the wakame and cucumbers.

Buy ready-to-use, already cut-up, dried wakame that needs just a few minutes to soften and come back to life. Use a good rice wine vinegar because it’s the dominant taste in this salad.

Per serving: Calories 43 (From fat 1); Fat 0g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 270mg; Carbohydrate 10g (Dietary fiber 2g); Protein 2g.

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