Saturday, April 21, 2012

hijiki rice salad

While in Hawaii, I found a new recipe to try while perusing my Mom's cookbook collection.  This recipe is a fusion of Asian and Western-style cuisines and comes from the Moosewood Restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant located in New York.  I think my Mom said that one of my cousins gave her the cookbook, many many moons ago.

There are several parts to this recipe, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Hijiki Rice Salad : from "Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special" : serves 8

1/2 cup dry hijiki seaweed soaked for 30 minutes in 1.5 cups cool water
1 block firm tofu (about 15 ounces (425 grams))

Tofu marinade
2 tablespoons ketchup or tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon hijiki-soaking water

4 cups warm cooked short-grain brown rice (4 cooked cups will come from 2 dry cups of rice)
2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup peeled and shredded carrots
1 cup minced red onions
1 cup peeled, seeded & minced cucumber
1/2 cup peeled and shredded daikon radish
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (toast in medium heated non-stick pan or oven at 350F (180C) for 2 to 3 minutes)

Carrot dressing
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

Drain hijiki, reserving a tablespoon of the soaking liquid for the tofu marinade.
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Prepare a 9x12-inch baking pan with cooking spray or oil.
Cut tofu into 4 even slices.  Stack the slices and cut down through them 3 times in each direction to yield 64 small cubes.
In a bowl large enough to hold the tofu, mix together all of the tofu marinade ingredients.
Add the tofu cubes to the bowl and toss lightly, coat evenly with marinade.
Transfer tofu to the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, combine the warm rice, with the tomatoes, carrots, onions, cucumber, radish and sesame seeds.
Set aside.
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender, puree until smooth and set aside.
After tofu is baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
Add it to the salad with some of the dressing and toss well.

NOTES: I used what hijiki I had in my pantry, this was called me-hijiki and it is a short form of the seaweed.  It is also known as hime-hijiki (literally princess seaweed) or kome hijiki (literally rice seaweed, because it looks like grains of rice).

I also used 300 grams of tofu which was soft not firm.
I didn't have 64 cubes, but 24.
I made the full recipe of the marinade but didn't add the soaking water from the hijiki because my tofu was very soft.

Instead of using brown rice, I used whatever rice I had in my rice cooker, which was white rice mixed with some kuromai (black rice).  I think wheat berries might go nicely in this.
Also, I only used 2 full chawan (rice bowl) of rice (about 360 grams).

I whizzed the dressing in my food processor and ladled 3 serving-sized spoons of dressing when I tossed it, and added the tofu while it was still warm.

I liked this, the flavors weren't overpowering but melded nicely together.  I'm glad I found this recipe and  think the next time I make this I would also add cooked edamame and/or canned corn.

If you try this, tell me what you think.


Happy Little Bento said...

This does look like a delicious spring salad; light yet tasty and flavorful.

K and S said...

Thanks Sheri :) I can't wait to make this with summer veggies too!

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I have that cookbook but for some reason overlooked that recipe, and I have some hijiki hiding in the pantry too. I'll have to try it--it looks really good. ;-)

K and S said...

hope you like this Deb!

Take care.

Rowena said...

Bookmarked! I'm going to try this for the MotH as a change from veggie & pasta or veggie & farro salads. The funny thing is that his friends have taken note of his "home lunches" and are considering to do the same since they agree on the company cafeteria serving lousy food!

K and S said...

hope MotH likes this Rowena!

Take care.

Rowena said...

Finally got tired of waiting to see daikon in the store and made this last night....with red radishes! Didn't grate them, but cut into fourths and they added an extra splash of color and texture to the dish. I wanted a light, but filling salad to go with our baked salmon, so I subbed the brown rice with farro grains, left out the tofu, and followed the recipe to the end. The dressing is awesome! I used what little that was left and added it to a veggie pasta salad for MotH's bento lunch. He says the dish tastes like something that he would only have tasted in Hawaii, so crossing fingers that the tofu shop in Milan will have something decent when we go this weekend. Thanks for sharing this Kat!

K and S said...

ooh sounds good Rowena, I hope Milan has some good tofu for you too!

Take care.