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
Method:
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 ♪
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Delicious Mango Salad… My Way

 

Once my class was given a question by our English teacher. In the midst of her teachings she asked us, to correct this – ” There are man goes (man-goes) on the tree”. It’s her way to jolt us from our ‘dreamland’ or she must had noticed someone or some of us nearly dozed off…:-D Her class is not boring at all, really… but after good lunch and windy fan spinning above our heads, the time for siesta in us sets in… 😀 

Mentioned the word m-a-n-g-o would make anyone swooned and salivating! Everyone will have their favourites… I love Black Gold, Chukanan, Waterlily to name a few. The mango fruit can be use in several ways; as desserts like well known Thailand’s  Khao Neow Mamuang (Sticky Rice with Mango), use unripe in savoury salad or as pickle sold by road side vendors, dipped in sour plum powder in Southeast Asian countries. Trust me, it’s so…soooo (drooling) deliciously fresh and when you dip the crunchy slices into the sour plum powder… mmmm…. then put into mouth … crunch… mmm….mmm… IT’s better than chomping chips & crackers minus the calorie!
Mango Salad

Mango Salad

My Way Mango Salad
Serves 2-4
2 nos Half Ripe Mangoes 
1 cup Basil Leaves- firmly packed and roughly chopped (Any basil will do. In this recipe I used Thai Sweet basil from my pot.)
2-3 Fresh Red Chillies
4-8 Small Red Shallots-remove skin and slice thinly
1/4 cup of Thai Fish Sauce (Nam Pla) or more to your taste
2 nos Limes- juice only
Lime zests (optional)
Raw Cane Sugar to taste (you can use white sugar too)
Method:
1. Remove the skin of mangoes. Slice the mangoes about 0.50 cm thin slices along the fruit until your knife touches the seed. Do the same for the other side of the mango. (Reserve the seed to eat what’s left later :-D). Roughly cut the mangoes into matchstick sizes. 
Note: Any type of half ripe mangoes can be use. Just beware that although Black Gold mangoes (Tong Dum in Thai) has dark green outer skin but inside is actually ripe with sweet orangy succulent flesh. Only way to tell if it’s ripe is the yellow tinge at the stem part and to lightly touch/press the fruit to feel if is soft for ripeness.
2. In a bowl: Slice chillies in halves and remove the seeds from chillies if you don’t want that hot. Thinly sliced the chillies. You can also roughly chop the chillies without removing the seeds but then you will end up eating seeds as well.
3. Add in the fish sauce, basil leaves, chilli and some sugar. Mix well and taste if you need to add in more sugar or fish sauce…
4. Pour in Lime juice little bit at first. Taste accordingly to your preference ( I used all 2 Limes plus the zest as well.) Add in more if you like more sourness. Add in the cut mangoes and stir well until well coated with the sauce.
Serve as side dish to rice, grill meat, seafood… even as toppings for steam fish to give it extra zing!
Note: You can prepare the sauce and the fruits in advance but don’t mix them too early because mangoes will wilt and losing it’s crunchiness. You will end up with soggy salad instead. 

You can also add in fried dried shrimp into this salad but I didn’t use it because some people dislike dried shrimps and said it made the salad kinda oily & cloudy