Saturday, 17 May 2008

Hijiki nimono (simmered hijiki seaweed with edamame)

We had a vegetarian friend round for dinner two nights ago with some pretty challenging dietary requests. Other than the normal vegetarian restrictions, she also does not eat mushrooms, aubergine or courgettes... which cut out many vegetarian dishes in my repertoire! In the end, I cooked a vegetarian yaki udon (like in this recipe, except with sliced red and yellow peppers, red onion and mange tout/snow peas instead of beef), vegetarian tofu and leek gyoza (from a frozen pack) and a hijiki nimono side dish. A bottle of Australian Chardonnay and a dark chocolate torte dessert rounded it all off.

Nimono is a type of Japanese food in which ingredients such as fish, meat, seaweed and/or vegetables are simmered in a seasoned broth. The broth may be flavoured with dashi, miso, mirin, sake, soy sauce, salt, ginger or other condiments. I made a hijiki seaweed nimono with carrots and edamame (soy beans). Hijiki is a type of seaweed with high fibre content. They can be found in Oriental shops alongside the larger sheets of wakame seaweed. Edamame (soy beans) is also high in fibre and protein and can now be bought in many supermarkets, such as from Bird's Eye in the frozen section (alongside frozen peas). This dish can be served warm or cold, depending on the season. Any extra will keep well in the fridge for a few days, with the ingredients soaking up even more flavour from the stock.

Hijiki nimono (simmered hijiki seaweed with edamame)
(This photo has been submitted to the SnackShots #4: Salad blog event held by Michelle of Greedy Gourmet.)

Ingredients (serves 4-5 as a side dish or starter):

20g dried hijiki seaweed
50g edamame (frozen is fine)
1 small carrot, thinly sliced or cut into matchsticks
100ml dashi stock (I used vegetable stock)
1 tbsp mirin
4 tsp sake (or dry white wine)
4 tsp light soy sauce
4 tsp sugar


1. Soak the dried hijiki seaweed in cold water for about 30 minutes. The seaweed will expand about 5 times in volume so find an appropriate sized bowl. Drain well and set aside.

Hijiki seaweed

2. Heat some oil in a pan and cook the carrots and edamame over medium heat for a minute. Then add the hijiki and pour over stock, sake, light soy sauce and sugar. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the liquid is reduced and mostly absorbed (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Serve hot or cold.


I am submitting this recipe to the Beautiful Bones blog event run by Food Blogga, to help raise awareness of osteoporosis (a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break, affecting mostly women but not just the elderly). Hijiki seaweed contains about 14 times more calcium than milk, and is also rich in iron and fiber. Edamame, like most soy products is also rich in calcium. Many Asians are mildly lactose intolerant as diary is not traditionally part of the diet, so if you are not keen on milk, cheese and other diary products, try eating more seaweed, legumes, soy and green leafy vegetables to up your calcium intake. This blog event runs until 31st May so there is still time to submit your own calcium-rich recipe.


noble pig said...

So beautiful and the presentation is just adorable!

VeggieGirl said...

Your guest didn't like mushrooms?!?!?! Ahh, I LOVE mushrooms, haha - but the dish that you ended up making looks PERFECT!! Yum!

Heather said...

Gorgeous photo, Nilmandra. That little salad looks so refreshing. Veggiegirl is right - mushrooms are awesome! I can't understand fussy eaters. :p

chocolate shavings said...

This looks amazing! I would choose that over meat anytime.

Pixie said...

Your photographs are really stunning Nil- and thank you for stopping over and being so thoughtful. I've recently been tagged and it's an open tag but think you may truly enjoy it.

didally said...

This is so pretty and most important so healthy.

Nilmandra said...

Noble Pig: Thanks! Lots of posing on my part, heh.

Veggiegirl: It's such a crime, isn't it? ;) The husband and I both adore mushrooms. I will definitely add some shitake to this the next time.

Heather: Thanks. I don't think I've met so many people with dietary restrictions or preferences till I came to the UK... haha :p

Chocolate Shavings: Thanks! Although I do still like my meat ;)

Pixie: Thanks! I've been watching and learning from other food blogs that have such awesome photography. And for once I had lots of time to play around with the shots that afternoon. Thanks for thinking of me, I'll hope on over to your blog.

Didally: Japanese food tends to be quite sweet and I think this recipe is a little too sweet for my taste. I might reduce the sugar next time.

Lizzie said...

Great presentation, I love the little bowls too.

tigerfish said...

You know a lot about Jap food! I could never figured out or remember those names...
That is a lovely appetizer :D

diva said...

love edamame! and chardonnay sure does sound like the perfect compliment to your meal :)

Indigo said...

I don't know how someone could survive as a vegetarian without mushrooms/courgette/aubergine - but you came up with a brilliant solution! And gorgeously presentated..

We Are Never Full said...

This is so beautiful looking and very simple. I kept thinking there was more to the recipe, but, alas, nope!

noobcook said...

Hee, excellent photography! This dish looks so beautiful and don't sound too difficult, so I might try that if I can get my hands on some hijiki =)

Nilmandra said...

Lizzie: I love them too, especially when I bought them all for 99p in a charity shop!

Tigerfish: Thanks, I love Japanese food. There's hardly any Jap restaurants here so I have to find ways to make them myself!

Diva: It was nice :) The Chardonnay was just buttery and rich enough to hold up the yaki udon. I would have gone with a lighter and citrusy sauvignon blanc or pinot noir if we were having sushi or a ramen soup.

Indigo: I was floored when I heard that too... heh. I'm glad I found a solution :)

We are never full: Thanks! Simple is especially good for entertaining, less to do and more time to talk :)

Noobcook: Should be able to get them from the supermarkets at Isetan Scotts or Takashimaya.

sohcool said...

Wow. That looks great. I recently bought the seaweed at the japanese grovery store and cooked it with braised chinese mushrooms. Never thought of doing it with edamame. Will try it soon. Thanks!
BTW, I had seen your bento lunches. Very inspired to try them. However, the portions look rather small. Is it really enough to 'tahan' until end of the day?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Nilmandra,

I had no idea that hijiki was such a powerhouse of calcium! You have truly inspired me to make a Japanese meal, and now I'm so excited about it. Many thanks for a lovely entry.


Nilmandra said...

Sohcool: Thanks for the kind comment. The portions for most bento do look fairly small but they tend to be quite densely packed so there is more food than it looks. If you take them out of the box and spread them on a plate, it would actually be a normal meal portion. My husband has a pretty healthy appetite and he seems satisfied with his lunch portions so I guess it must be enough to 'tahan'!

Susan: Happy to contribute. I'm looking forward to seeing what others came up with :)

Michelle said...

What a difficult guest you had! You seemed to have risen to the challenge and came out on top with your creative salad. Thanks for participating in SnackShots; see you at the roundup!

Nilmandra said...

Michelle: A pleasure to make it for this event, I'm looking forward to the round up!

Maryann said...

Nice photo Nil! :)

Nilmandra said...

Maryann: Thanks for the kind compliment!

Thip said...

I love edamame. :)

Nilmandra said...

Thip: Me too, and I find them particularly filling.

kittie said...

Beautiful - deserving of the win!

(I love edamame too!!)

Nilmandra said...

Kittie: Thanks :) And edamame is really good for you too!

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