Comforting and healthy side dish made of hijiki (seaweed), carrots, aburaage (fried tofu), and edamame. Enjoy hot or chilled ^_^
Have you had hijiki salad before? It's a popular Japanese side dish that you'll find all over Hawaii. It's sold at all the good bento shops and local okazuyas. It's also a popular dish to make at home.
Hijiki salad is usually enjoyed chilled or at room temperature. But I secretly love it hot, like right after you finish cooking. Not common, but very delicious. It's all about personal preference! There's no wrong temperature to eat hijiki salad.
Hijiki salad makes a good "meal prep" side. Make a batch at the start of the week and serve it as a side dish over the course of a few days. It's one of those dishes that seem to taste even better the next day.
- Dried hijiki
- Aburaage - For more info on aburaage, scroll down to the "aburaage" section of this post.
- Frozen shelled edamame - Make sure you get already shelled edamame (or you'll end up spending a lot of time shelling them yourself ^_^)
- Dashi - We mix 1 teaspoons of dashi powder for every 1 cup of water
- Soy Sauce - We use Kikkoman or Aloha brands in Hawaii.
- Sesame Oil - Our go-to sesame oil brand is Kadoya.
- Sesame seeds (optional) - Just to sprinkle on top before serving.
First steps is to prepare the hikiji. We use the same preparation method used in the Edamame and Hijiki Rice recipe. Place the dried hijiki in a big bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for 30 minutes. The hijiki should triple in size. Then drain and rinse the hijiki under cold running water. Rinse a few times, until water runs nearly clear. Set aside.
Got your carrots julienned and aburaage sliced thin? Ok! Now we good. In a saucepan on medium heat, saute the carrots with a little bit of oil. Saute for 1 minute.
Add the drained and rinsed hijiki and saute another minute. Add the aburaage and saute for another 30 seconds.
Now add the liquid. Pour in the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat back to medium and let cook (no lid) for 8 minutes.
When 90% of the liquid has evaporated, add the cooked edamame to the saucepan. Place the lid on the saucepan and cook for 2 minutes.
Add sesame oil, stir to mix. Turn off the heat and spoon the prepared hijiki salad into a serving dish. Sprinkle on sesame seeds if you'd like. Serve warm or chilled as a side dish.
What Is Hijiki
Hijiki is a type of seaweed (so this recipe is basically a seaweed salad) that is popular in Japanese cooking, and thus in Hawaii cooking! It's sold dried and you have to rehydrate it in water.
It's important to rinse hijiki several times under running water after rehydrating. Hijiki alone is earthy in flavor. It's also great at absorbing other flavors (like the dashi broth and soy sauce), which is why this hijiki dish is extra tasty.
What Is Aburaage?
Aburaage are fried tofu pouches. You'll usually find three forms of aburrage sold at the Japanese supermarket:
Canned (recommended for this recipe)
We are using the canned version in this recipe because it's the most common one (and also one that you can order online in case there's no Japanese market near you). There are about a dozen fried tofu pouches in that can (we use six pouches for the recipe).
Refrigerated (recommended for this recipe)
The refrigerated version is popular. They taste similar to the canned ones, and if you find these at the market, feel free to use them instead. They come in flat packs that usually have 12-24 pieces. This is an example of what one looks like.
Frozen or Fresh
Both canned and refrigerated aburaage are already prepared and have a bit of flavor and sweetness added to them. The frozen and fresh ones are straight up puffs of fried tofu (nothing added to them). These are delicious but require several extra steps to prepare them for use in this recipe (you have to boil off the oil, then simmer in a broth/sauce to add the flavor and sweetness).
Note: To save yourself a lot of time and work, I recommend using canned or refrigerated aburaage for this recipe. (Though if you have time to prep the fresh ones, by all means, please do so ^_^)
Questions and Tips
About 4-5 days in the refrigerator, in a covered container.
Serve hijiki salad as a side dish. Hijiki salad is a Japanese dish (one that's been widely adapted in Hawaii), so it pairs well with Japanese or local Japanese dishes. Think miso butterfish, furikake salmon, and tuna-tofu patties. I also love it with some Hawaiian dishes like kalua pork / kalua pig and pipikaula!
Even though this is a hijiki salad, I like to have an almost 1:1 ratio of hijiki to carrots. You can decide what ratio you prefer. The recipe below is good starting off point. Feel free to increase or decrease any ingredients you want more or less of.
Oh man, this one is tough. You can make the recipe without aburaage, but it will not be nearly as tasty. It will be good, but it won't be wowowoow. So definitely try get aburaage for this recipe. You can find it (in multiple forms!) at all Japanese markets.
Hijiki Salad Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- Prepare the hikiji. Place the dried hijiki in a big bowl. Cover with 2-3 cups of cold water and let soak for 30 minutes. The hijiki should triple in size. Then drain (use a strainer) and rinse the hijiki under cold running water. Rinse about two times, until water runs almost clear. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, saute the julienned carrots with a little bit of oil. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the hijiki and saute for another minute.
- Add the aburaage and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Turn the heat back down to medium heat and let cook (uncovered) for about 8 minutes.
- When 90% of the liquid has evaporated, add the cooked edamame. Place the lid on the saucepan and cook 2 minutes.
- Add the sesame oil, stir to mix. Turn off the heat and spoon the prepared hijiki salad into a serving dish. Sprinkle sesame seeds (optional). Serve warm or chilled as a side dish. Enjoy ^_^