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Learn to make Hijiki Seaweed Salad, a classic Japanese side dish that perfectly complements your favorite Asian entrees. This version is gluten-free and vegan and super easy to make!
What is Hijiki Seaweed Salad?
Hijiki seaweed is a brown seaweed commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It has a chewy texture and a mildly sweet, briny flavor.
It’s a classic Japanese side dish made with hijiki seaweed simmered in sweet soy sauce, known for its unique texture and flavor. The salad is served cold or at room temperature and is known for its slightly sweet and savory taste.
This hijiki seaweed salad is not only delicious but also rich in fiber, calcium, iron, and other minerals. You’ll often find this seaweed salad served on the side with meals to add flavor.
What Makes This Recipe Great?
Traditional recipes for this salad contain hijiki seaweed, edamame, carrots, and dried tofu (aburaage). Then these ingredients are simmered in a sweet sauce made with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
Because most dashi stock contains fish, this hijiki seaweed salad is not naturally vegan. So, to make our version vegan-friendly, we’re using vegan kombu dashi made with mushrooms instead of fish! And finally, to make it gluten-free, simply use gluten-free soy sauce (like Tamari).
This truly unique Japanese dish is the perfect complement to your favorite Asian entrees!
- Dried Hijiki Seaweed: You can find all of the ingredients for this recipe at Asian grocery stores. Or, check the ethnic/Asian section of your grocery store. Hijiki comes dried.
- Aburaage: This is dried, deep-fried tofu (you can also use Yuba).
- Neutral oil
- Shelled edamame: You can also use frozen shelled edamame beans to save yourself time.
- Vegan Dashi: For tons of umami flavour.
- Mirin, which is Japanese seasoned rice vinegar and adds a nice sweetness to the sauce
- Coconut sugar, though you can use organic cane sugar if you prefer.
- Soy sauce. Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
- Soak your dried hijiki seaweed in warm water in a bowl for about an hour until fully hydrated. Rinse and strain to remove excess water.
- Repeat with the aburaage, soaking in warm water until hydrated (about 5 minutes), then removing excess water.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, and once hot, add the julienned carrots to the pan and sauté until bright and nicely cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Next, add aburaage and rehydrated hijiki and cook for another minute.
- Add dashi to the pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and add the remaining seasoning ingredients. Let cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
- Finally, add edamame, and then cook uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens. Let cool completely before transferring to a jar to store.
How to Serve Hijiki Seaweed Salad
- You can serve this as a side dish with your favorite Asian recipes, such as Tofu Satay or Braised Korean Tofu.
- Or, you can simply serve the salad with rice. It’s like a healthy little condiment. You can serve it chilled or warm, but often, it’s served cold or at room temperature.
- This is a great make-ahead recipe. Simply store leftover hijiki salad in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Hijiki seaweed has a subtly sweet, earthy, and salty taste. It has a slightly chewy texture when cooked.
It is nutritious and contains tons of dietary fiber, essential minerals, and vitamins. However, it should be consumed in moderation due to its potential arsenic and iodine content.
One way we do this is by soaking the seaweed in warm water and rinsing it. It will not remove all arsenic, but it does improve it.
More Japanese Recipes
If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below! Follow me on Instagram for more delicious recipes!