Hiziki with String Beans and Walnuts

The first part of this recipe is the basic cooking instructions for any dish using hiziki, which is a dark, delicious sea vegetable from Japan.

In the second part, the cooked hiziki is combined with cooked potatoes and other vegetables.

Hiziki has a strong smell and taste. The key to taming that, is soaking and discarding the soaking water, followed by sauteeing the hiziki in a little bit of oil before simmering. Coating with oil pretty much gets rid of the strong smell and taste. You can adjust the amount of soy sauce, honey, ginger and cayenne, depending on how rich you want the taste, and what foods you combine it with.

Hiziki is an excellent source of calcium, iron and other minerals, and B-vitamins. It is worth taking the time to learn to cook it.

Basic Hiziki Recipe

Soak 1/4 cup dried hiziki in water to cover, for at least an hour. It will swell up a lot, to 3 or 4 times its dry size. Discard soaking water before cooking.

In a medium hot skillet, saute the hiziki in 2-3 tsp of sesame oil for a few minutes, coating it thoroughly.

Add the following ingredients:

Simmer on a low flame until water is absorbed, at least 20 minutes.

Hiziki with Potatoes

Boil the potatoes whole in their jackets about 25 minutes, drain and let sit until cool enough to handle. (This step can be done well in advance.)

Heat the oil, and saute the jalapeno, garlic and onion. Add chopped potatoes, hiziki and pine nuts and stir. The hiziki seasons the dish, but you may need to adjust salt.