Bodhi Derma

Seaweed, the Kale of the Sea

Do you want to up your green game? Then get your algae on and reap the benefits. Rich in A, C, calcium and iodine, some types of seaweed are purportedly anti-carcinogenic (wakame and kombu for example), and can be delicious. A study of the effects of Bladderwrack at the University of California at Berkeley in 2004 suggests that dietary Bladderwrack may prolong the length of the menstrual cycle and exert anti-estrogenic effects in pre-menopausal women. Furthermore, the studies also suggest that seaweed may be another important dietary component responsible for the reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers observed in Japanese populations. Clearly the Japanese are top of the seaweed stakes in both variety and preparation, so the best sources would have to be Japanese restaurants and their chefs. 

Meanwhile here's a recipe for Seaweed Salad.

Ingredients

  • 30 grams (1 ounce) dry mixed seaweed
  • 1 tbs + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar (you can substitute a 1/2 tablespoon agave)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger juice
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Put the dry seaweed in a large bowl and filled with cold water. If you like your seaweed crunchy, soak it for 5 minutes, if you like it more tender, soak it for 10 minutes. 
  2. Combine the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt and ginger juice in a small bowl and whisk together to make the dressing.
  3. Drain the seaweed and use your hands to squeeze out excess water. Wipe out any excess water in the bowl, and then return the seaweed along with the dressing and sesame seeds. Toss thoroughly to combine. Place in a bowl and garnish with scallions.

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