Seaweed Salad with Cucumber and Avocado
Out of the ordinary salad with balanced, interesting flavors from simple ingredients. This recipe is inspired by one from a Maine seaweed harvester named Kacie Loparto and I used wakame from the Maine Coast. Wakame seaweed becomes slimy when soaked, but instead of being turned off by this texture, you can reap the health benefits of this food, including high iodine, a trace element often lacking in American diets but is necessary for proper thyroid function.
- 2 ounces wakame
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon yellow or sweet white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- ½ cup cold-pressed hempseed oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 cups sliced Armenian cucumbers or small seedless variety (about 1/8” thick)
- 1 small avocado, peeled and pitted and diced
- 3 thinly sliced scallions
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Coarse unrefined sea salt, to taste
Bring a medium saucepan or pot of water to a boil. Add wakame and remove from heat. Allow seaweed to soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid if you’d like to make miso soup or another project. Rinse seaweed under cold water and gently pat dry. Thinly slice the wakame into strips with a sharp knife. It’s slimy and sticky so take care when slicing.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, miso paste, ginger and honey. Drizzle in the oils slowly while whisking vigorously, until the vinaigrette is thickened and well combined. Season with a pinch of sea salt. Add the wakame, cucumber, avocado and scallions and toss well but gently, coating the vegetables with the vinaigrette. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Best when served immediately but if you make it a day ahead, add avocado just before serving.
- If you don’t have a seedless cucumber variety, you can use regular cucumbers with a less flavorful but still good result. Peel and remove the seeds, then dice.
- Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet on medium heat with plenty of room to spread the seeds out. Keep it attended and stir often so the seeds won’t burn.
- Substitute the hempseed oil with untoasted cold-pressed sesame oil if needed.
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