After an impulse buy at the Japanese grocery store (umeboshi vinegar!), I decided to compose a Japanese fusion salad with some arame seaweed and the greens I had in the fridge.
I know this sounds scary, but seaweed is quite good for adding new texture to a salad. Even more, sea vegetables are very healthy, low in calories and packed with good stuff (vitamins/minerals?).
Umeboshi梅干し is Japanese pickled plum (or apricot, depends on the translation). It is a tangy-sour flavor, and usually combined with another Japanese specialty, shiso leaves. If you like umeboshi, try umeshu, a wine made with ume.
The seaweed comes dried in a package in the aisle that also has nori (the sushi seaweed). My package of arame came sliced into thin strands-- perfect for salad!
Minimally, you need to soak it to reconstitute. At this point, you can probably use as is, or simmer with some flavorings. I added a little soy sauce, sake, and ginger slices to mine.
After cooling down, you can drop the seaweed into the salad (herb greens in this picture, with red pepper) and serve with dressing.
Umeboshi Salad Dressing
As usual, I did some research on the web for something to use my Umeboshi vinegar in, but I was generally disappointed. I took cues from a few recipes and came up with this tangy-sweet-sour dressing.
2 tea Mirin (a version of rice wine that is specially called "mirin" みりん)
1 tea Rice vinegar (komezu)
2 tea Umeboshi vinegar
1 tea - 1.5 tea Soy sauce
1 TB + Brown sugar/agave syrup
1 TB olive oil