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Worms in Dirt (Hijiki Salad)
© David Malosh

Worms in Dirt (Hijiki Salad)

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, makes a lovely Halloween-ready salad that just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

  1. 1 cup dried hijiki seaweed (2 ounces)
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 1/4 cup mirin
  4. 2 teaspoons sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dashi powder (see Note), dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
  6. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  7. 4 carrots, cut into 3-inch matchsticks
  8. 1 cup thinly sliced fried tofu, about 1 ounce (see Note)
  9. 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  10. 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  11. Black sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. In a bowl, cover the hijiki with warm water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, pressing out any excess water. In a small bowl, combine the soy, mirin, sugar and dissolved dashi.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add the carrots and fried tofu and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Stir in the hijiki. Add the soy mixture and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the hijiki salad to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the sesame oil. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Make Ahead The hijiki salad can be refrigerated overnight. Notes Dashi powder and fried tofu (abura-age) are available at Japanese markets.
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