Wakame With Prawns in Sweet Chilli Dressing

Wakame is a fascinating seaweed yet this plant plays very important role in the daily asian diet especially in Korea and Japan without us noticing the significant role it plays. The nutritious kelp, rich in protein, calcium, iodine, iron, folate and Lignan, an important phytoestrogens that may provide protection against certain cancers. Proponents of both raw food diet (aka ‘living food’ ) and macrobiotic diets, extol the life-giving and healthful properties of wakame along with other seaweeds. 

I eat a lot of seaweeds besides Wakame but also Hijiki, Konbu, Nori, Aonori, Arame, Dulse, Agar-agar (best known it’s usage in jelly preparation besides carrageenan and konyakku(sourced from devil’s tongue/konjac tuber.) You can get the dried colourful mixed seaweed salad as ‘ Kaiso’ mix in packets with Japanese Salad sauce included or without. I prefer to make my own salad sauce. Best if you can find Yuzu to make Yuzu salad vinegar – it’s so refreshing and delicious! Seaweed is good for health if you have over-active or under-active thyroid – in another word weight problem… 😛 Seaweed has high source of Iodine which helps the thyroid gland to function well. This is totally different if you take supplemental Iodine in liquid form compared eating natural food like seaweed, your body absorbs what it needs and discards what it doesn’t. Some seaweeds like Agar-agar, Hijiki and Arame were able to remove radioactive and toxic metal waste from our body.

Seaweed is a Umami-rich food. In other word, naturally occuring glutamate… better known as MSG. Foodies with MSG-sensitive please be caution with your intake… You can find more info at Umami Information Center.
Two days ago, I bought some fresh prawns and decided to use them with left over dried wakame for a quick meal. I ate this with plain hot rice and hot tea. Then ate some mooncakes as desserts 😀 I know it’s not the right time to eat mooncakes but I just can’t help myself to taste earlier before the festival. There were so many choices and flavours that I had the hard time to choose… not forgetting the beautiful boxes they came with. Even Häagen Dazs in asian region has their own version of Ice Cream Mooncakes!

Wakame With Prawns in Sweet Chilli Dressing
20 g Wakame or any seaweed of your choice
2-4 nos Fresh Prawns/medium to large prawns of your choice
10 g White Sesame seeds
2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbl Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 tbl Light Soya Sauce
1 nos Lemon – for juice only
Salt and Sugar to taste (optional)
Some clean water for soaking wakame
1. Soak dried seaweed in some water for 30 minutes or until doubles it’s size. Drain the soaked wakame from the water.
2.Wash, peel and devein prawns; In a small pot, boil enough water to cover the prawns. When water boils, drop in the prawns. Blanch the prawns until it changes to pink or lightly curl up. Remove, drain and set aside. 
Note: You can boil the prawns whole and remove the heads, tails and shells later. I always keep them for homemade stock. Put in a freezer bag and freeze them for later use.
3. In a separate pan, dry-fry (without oil) the white sesame grains until fragrant. Remove and roughly crush the sesame seeds.
4. In a bowl mixed the Sweet Chilli sauce, olive oil, light soya sauce, lemon juice until well combine. Add the crushed sesame. Adjust the taste with salt and sugar. If you like more sourish you can add in extra lemon juice. 
5. In 4 small bowls, divide the wakame into 4 portions. Add a cooked prawn for each bowl. Drizzle the sweet chilli sauce dressing  before serving. Serve cold as salad or appetiser with main meals. Serves 2-4 small portions.
Note:Alternatively, you can mix all together and let it sit in refrigerator 1-2 hours to marinate and then divide into desired portions. Sprinkle some sliced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.
♫ Enjoy ♪

Jellyfish And Kyuri Salad

It had been long time since my last jellyfish meal 😛 Yes, you read it right  j-e-l-l-y-f-i-s-h that floating wobbly, water filled animal with long stinging tentacles that spells out trouble for swimmers and fishermen alike. Do you know jellyfish has no brains, no heart and no blood yet they can breed, hunt food and move about?! Jellyfish have existed for 650 million years! You can say that’s bizarre but it’s a delicacy and enjoyed by many people. As for me, I rather eat jellyfish anytime than turtles! 
Ok… I don’t know which species of jellyfish I’m eating but I guessed it’s edible and not endangered (?) species right? 😀 This batch was given to me by my neighbour. I think I got the tentacles part. Almost all the whole jellyfish parts can be eaten as mentioned by foodie bloggerMelting Wok.
Jellyfish And Kyuri (Japanese Cucumber) Salad
300 g Jellyfish (already prepared and cleaned by seller)
1 pc Japanese Cucumber (kyuri)
1 stalk Spring Onions
3 tsp  Rice Vinegar
3 tbl  Sesame Oil
4 tsp  Shoyu/Light Soya Sauce
1 tbl  Fish Sauce (Optional)
3 tbl  Sesame Seeds
4 tsp  Sugar
Some water to blanch the jellyfish
1. Wash jellyfish in fresh water. Drain and set aside.
2. In a pot, boil some water. When water boiled, pour the jellyfish into the hot boiling water. Blanch the jellyfish in few seconds (you will see that the amount will shrink in size) and quickly plunge it into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain the jellyfish.
3. When jellyfish is cold enough to handle, slice the jellyfish into smaller pieces. Set aside.
4. Wash the japanese cucumber: cut into halves lengthwise and remove the seeds. Slice them thinly. Set aside.
For the dressing:
1. In a small pan, roast the sesame seeds without any oil until fragrant and golden yellow. Crush lightly the seeds a bit to release the oil. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, shoyu until the sugar dissolves. Add in the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir the dressing well. Set aside until needed.
To assemble the salad; Mix the jellyfish and the japanese cucumber together. Pour in the dressing and mix well. Adjust the taste to your liking. Garnish with sliced spring onions. If you intend to serve the salad later, don’t add the dressing too early or you will end up with watery salad. Few minutes before serving is better because you also want the jellyfish to absorb the dressing…
Variation: You can add on to your sushi or top it up on Donburi meals. You can also add some chopped fresh chillies or chilli flakes to give that extra ‘kick’ 🙂
Jellyfish is one of sea turtles main food and that helps keeping the jellyfish in control but now with the dwindling of sea turtles population these jellyfish is back with vengeance! In countries that were badly hit with the surge of jellyfish population had cost lost of income to the fishermen. Only way to control this situation is to stop eating sea turtles (also their cousins) and their eggs or else we all end up eating jellyfish as food or the other way round!