Hijiki Salad with Chilled Soba Noodles
Hijiki is very efficient in soaking up punchy flavors. This mixture (before adding the noodles) is wonderful eaten with brown rice, or can be used to make onigiri. Make a large portion and keep it in a sealed container in your fridge (for up to one week). Here, I’ve added some chilled soba noodles for a complete meal.
30 grams dried hijiki seaweed
270 grams soba noodles
1 large carrot, peeled
1 leek (white part only) or 4 scallions
200 grams shiitake mushroom
½ inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
3 scallions, finely sliced
2 tbsp sesame seeds (white, black or both), toasted
Soak the hijiki in a large bowl of water for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the soba noodles. Cook, stirring with wooden chopsticks every now and then to separate the noodles, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the noodles are cooked al dente. Drain immediately and refresh under cold running water. When completely cold, place the noodles in the fridge to chill. The soba noodles can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to use.
Drain and rinse the hijiki seaweed very well under running water. Allow to drain again and pat dry with a paper towel.
While the hijiki is soaking, cut the carrot into thin matchsticks. Slice the leek and shiitake mushrooms finely. Finely slice the ginger into razor thin matchsticks.
In a skillet over medium heat, add the sunflower oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrot, hijiki and ginger and stir fry on medium heat until the carrots are half cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes. Throw the shiitake mushrooms and leek into the pan, and toss everything together. Add the soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and sugar, turn down the heat to low and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, add the sesame oil and mix well. Remove from the heat.
Combine the chilled soba noodles with half the hijiki and the scallions, and toss everything together. Season with a big pinch of sea salt and a small pinch of white pepper. To serve, add another spoonful or two of hijiki on top of the noodles and scatter with sesame seeds.