Nutrition Packed Side Dish: Braised Hijiki
I like to eat a healthy balanced diet but masked in delicious food because I need variety and I can't get myself to drink green juices and eat salads every day (nor do I think they're the way to a healthy lifestyle). Hijiki is one of those wonderful ingredients that's earthy, sweet and versatile. On top of that, it's packed with iron, magnesium, calcium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. What more can you possibly hope for in a side dish? I've seen lots of recipes for hijiki salads on the web but my favorite way to eat it is the classic braised hijiki (ひじきの煮物).
They come dried and shelf stable. You can get them in Korean and Japanese grocery stores and some Chinese grocers as well. It's also available on Amazon but priced too high for me to recommend.
You soak hijiki for 30 minutes to an hour in cold water and it grows to 5 times the original size. Strain and rinse well under cold water.
Prepare your other ingredients. Peel the carrots and slice on a bias of about 1/6 of an inch (or 4mm). Then slice the bias as thinly as possible to get the shape above.
Cut the aburaage (fried tofu) to a similar size.
Heat up a medium sized pot and coat the bottom with a little oil. Sauté the carrots and fried tofu for a minute or two and then add the well drained hijiki. Mix with a wooden spoon for another minute and then add the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and salt. I like a more savory hijiki so I opt for equal amounts of soy sauce and mirin but if you want a more traditional flavor, add Simmer covered for 15 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature stirring occasionally.