Sushi For Dummies
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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.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Mineko Takane Moreno, born and raised in Tokyo, received her degree in French literature. Her love of food has inspired a lifelong education in many cuisines, including Japanese, Chinese, French, and Italian. Moving to San Diego in 1973, she began teaching Japanese cuisine, with a specialty in sushi. She currently teaches dozens of sushi classes a year at seven culinary schools, including Macy’s, Williams-Sonoma, and Sur la Table. Mineko consults with restaurants wishing to put sushi and other specialties on their menu. Her culinary work has been featured in numerous print publications and on television and radio shows. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Judi Strada has a bachelor’s degree in Russian studies, which led her to study other cultures through their foods. She was the food consultant and spokesperson for The Sheraton World Cookbook and The Culinary Festival Cookbook and coauthor of The Best of San Diego. She is a frequent cooking guest on television and radio shows on both coas ts. Judi, an award-winning writer, is currently food editor of San Diego Magazine; kitchen garden editor of Garden Compass Magazine; and a member of the Authors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the James Beard Foundation. She is founding president of Les Dames d’Escoffier, San Diego.

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