Seaweed Lettuce Salad

Seaweed Lettuce Salad

❤Kombu, a type of kelp, is boiled then added to a bowl of leafy greens, avocado, and scallions. A spicy sesame dressing drizzled over the top creates an utterly craveable array of flavor and texture.

Greek Pasta Salad
When kombu is combined with leafy greens, creamy avocado, scallions and a punchy sesame dressing you have a healthy, nutrient rich salad that tastes faintly of the sea.

What is in Seaweed Salad
Kombu, once boiled and rehydrated, becomes tender and silky, but still retains a crisp bite. It is a salad ingredient packed with savory flavor and pleasing textures

The crunchy lettuce adds freshness—I like red oak or butter lettuce for its creamy finish, but any leafy greens will work here. Iceberg lettuce would add a more pronounced crunch while a peppery leaf like arugula would deliver another layer of flavor. A raw shredded cabbage would also be a worthy substitute.

A perfectly just-ripe avocado provides a buttery backdrop which brings the kombu and lettuce together in a happy union. If you wanted a more substantial salad, you could add a tangle of rice or mung bean vermicelli.

Spicy Sesame Dressing
The spicy sesame dressing is a workhorse, one that is not only perfect in this salad but also in many others. It’s sweet, savory, and spicy, with a tart edge from the rice vinegar and is the perfect punchy antidote to the more mellow leaves.

This dressing would also go well with a cold soba noodle salad or even ladled over grilled vegetables.

Is Seaweed Good for You?
Seaweed is regarded by many as the future of food. As the world’s most sustainable food, it is zero-input, meaning it does not require fresh water, fertilizer, feed or arable land to thrive. It readily absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide directly from the sea and reproduces at a phenomenal rate—it can grow as much as an inch a day.

Along with its sustainability credentials, seaweed is also highly nutritious—it also contains more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than orange juice, and more protein than soybeans. In fact, fish do not naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids; they obtain these nutrients by eating seaweed.

Beyond sushi and roasted snacks, seaweed is an ingredient that can easily become an everyday food, as it is in Japan and many other Asian countries.

Kombu salad with Lettuce in three bowls.

Types of Seaweed and Where to Find it
There are many types of edible seaweed—wakame and kombu are both great for salads as they soak up flavor like a sponge.

Seaweed Lettuce Salad

For the salad

5 x 9-inch piece of kombu (about 3/4 ounce), soaked in warm water for 15–20 minutes
1 head lettuce (red oak or butter), leaves separated, washed and dried thoroughly
2 avocado, sliced or cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
1 scallion, finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
For the spicy sesame dressing

2 clove garlic, grated
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes) or 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt

Boil salted water and cook the seaweed:
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the soaked seaweed and boil for 12–15 minutes until tender-crisp. Drain. When cool enough to handle, tear or slice the kelp into bite-sized pieces.

Simmering seaweed in a pot to make Seaweed Lettuce Salad by Hetty McKinnon.
Kombu seaweed in a bowl to make Seaweed Lettuce Salad by Hetty McKinnon.
Make the spicy sesame dressing:
For the spicy sesame dressing, mix together grated garlic clove, chopped scallion, sugar, rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt in a small bowl.

Sauce for Seaweed Lettuce Salad by Hetty McKinnon in a white bowl.
Assemble the salad and serve:
Combine the seaweed, lettuce and avocado in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Season with sea salt and black pepper, top with the sesame seeds and scallion and serve immediately.