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Stir fried Hijiki Seaweed with Tofu and Vegetables

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 7:23 AM



When I am in Japan, I find myself eating some type of seaweed everyday. One in particular that i love is hjiki, a porous grassy seaweed that grows wild on the rocky coastlines of Japan. Hijiki has great texture and flavor. It is sold in the US in dried form. Hydrated, hijiki expands to about ten times its original size, so a little amount goes a long way.  I use the long Hijiki seaweed, called Naga-hijiki

The easiest and tastiest way to prepare hijiki is to simply stir fry it with other vegetables. The most popular combination is hijiki with sliced tofu pouches, age, carrots, and green beans.  The way I do it is, I look in the fridge and see what vegetables I want to use up. You can come up with your own combination. Peas, sliced burdock, peppers and celery also work well. I season this dish with dashi or chicken stock, soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. You can spice it up fresh ginger. For a more savory flavor, you can add about a cup of thinly sliced pieces of meat or seafood such as shrimp or clams to this recipe. If you want to make this dish more like salad, add crispy greens like mizuna, lettuce or sprouts (daikon radish sprouts are good.), just before serving. The  other nice way to serve this dish is to mix it into steamed rice and turn it into hijiki rice. I do this quite often.

One thing to remember about hijiki is to make sure you soak it in water for at least an hour, drain, and rinse it several more times to remove any impurities. Serve this dish in small appetizer portions.  It's a great source of calcium, iron and fiber.


Naga-hijiki - Long hijiki

RECIPE: STIR FRIED HIJIKI, TOFU and VEGETABLES
Serves 4

1 cup dried hijiki, hydrated

3 -4  dried shiitake mushrooms, hydrated

1 large or 2 small pieces Age (deep fried tofu pouches) optional

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks, 1/8 thick

1 tsp peeled and thinly sliced ginger

2 tbls roasted sesame oil or vegetable oil

1 cup dashi, dried shitake mushrooms stock or chicken stock of your choice

2 tbs mirin

1 tbs sake

1 tsp sugar or honey (optional)

1/4 cup soy sauce, or to taste

Salt if needed

 

Garnish: 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)



Add the hijiki last.

Soak hijiki in cold water to cover for at least one hour. Drain.  Rinse a couple more times to remove impurities.


Hydrate shitakes in cold water to cover, about 20 minutes.  Slice shitakes into 1/8 inch pieces. Reserve soaking liquid for the stock if you like.


Put oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir fry the carrots, age, mushrooms and ginger first for 2-3 mintues. 


Add the hydrated and drained hijiki.  Stir a couple times; add the stock or shiitake soaking liquid, mirin, sake, sugar and soy sauce. Stir, turn heat to simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Mixture should not be soupy or dry. Taste, and make adjustments with soy sauce, sugar and salt, if needed.


Serve as a salad or appetizer, about 1/3 cup servings per person.  Garnish with roasted sesame seeds.


Categories: Vegetable and Seaweed Dishes , Vegetarian, Appetizers

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