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The Blood Type Diet Archives Volume 8

Re: Please post sea vegetable preparation-NMI

Posted By: Joy (O+)
Date: Monday, 1 February 1999, at 6:58 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Please post sea vegetable preparation-NMI (Kathryn C)

OK, guys. I'll post sea vegetable recipes.

First: There's a good book out there , "Cooking with Japanese Vegetables" by Jan and John Belleme, East-West Health Books. 1986.

Second: We'll begin with Nori.
Nori is the dark green sea veggie that has been dried and pressed into thin sheets. Anyone who has eaten sushi knows nori -- it is the sushi wrapper. Sushi is fine, sushi rice is not since it is prepared with vinegar. Nori, however is delicious. You can buy it in sheet form, or flaked or shredded. Flaked or shredded can be used in salads or as a garnish for soups or grains. My favorite was to garnish a squash or carrot soup with nori shreds and keep a bowl of the shreds on the side. The shreds always disappeared before the soup.

Then there are rice balls. This is a neat way to carry a snack. Make a ball of cooked rice with a 'surprise' inside. Japanese style has pickled surprises. We have to be more careful (O's that is). Perhaps a center of a chopped vegetable (carrots or cucumber) seasoned with fresh grated ginger, or leftover salmon mixed with a little mustard (Coleman's). The ball is a little smaller than a tennis ball. Now begin to cover the ball with small torn pieces of nori. If the nori doesn't stick, dampen your finger tips and smooth it into place. When the ball is covered, wrap in wax paper or saran wrap. Enjoy. This is finger food -- no utensils.

Now for Arame and Hijiki. They may look similar, but they are very different. Hijiki, when cooked, is coarser, thicker and very, very strong tasting. Arame is delicate in appearance. Both are black (or at least a very dark brown). If you aren't used to the taste, don't start with Hijiki. The strong ocean taste is not for everyone. Both veggies are handled in a similar manner. First rinse quickly to get rid of most of the sand or foreign stuff (it's like spinach in this). Now soak in water to cover. Hijiki for 10 minutes; Arame for 5 minutes. No longer please or the good stuff - minerals leach out. Keep in mind that soaking increases the volume of the vegetable about four times. If you want to end up with 1 cup of veggie, only soak 1/4 cup to start. Lift out the veggie very carefully. More sand will have fallen to the bottom of the bowl. Save the water. Pour it off very carefully so the sand remains. You can use this water in cooking the veggie. But first, Squeeze out excess water, and saute the vegetable for a few minutes in a little oil (I like sesame here -- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. more or less. Then add the soaking water or fresh water to almost cover and simmer until tender. 40 minutes for Hijiki and 25 minutes for Arame. Watch that it doesn't cook dry and add a little water at a time if needed. At the end of the cooking season to taste with a little shoyu (tamari -- wheatless, please) and mirin (a sweet Japanese cooking wine). Toss this veggie with cooked carrot slices or green beans or chopped cucumber. The contrast of black against the bright is so beautiful. And the sweetness of these veggies are a pleasant contrast to the sea taste of the Hijiki or the Arame. You can also serve these veggies alone and not mixed with other veggies. When I do this I like to toast sesame seeds to sprinkle on the top. ENJOY!

I'll write up other veggies at another time. I've got to run now.

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