wakame salad

Dashi. Kombu katsuobushi dashi. Dried kelp, the green band, and dried smoked bonito flakes (skipjack tuna). The pink bits underneath the green band. 

Dried seaweed and flakes of dried fish steeped in water that had boiled. Like tea. Nobody will tell you this, except me, this is fish and seaweed tea. Simple as that. You make tea. Don't you? Therefore you're already expert at making kombu katsuobushi dashi. QED.

Kombu comes dried, usually a flat leaf the width of the package. It soaks up quite a lot and actually thickens. What goes in a wrinkled thick black paper swells to an even thicker green leaf. The stuff you see in the ocean waving around in huge bands where fish live and hide and breed. Like in the cartoons. This brand comes processed in strips shrunken up like thin black cigars that soak quickly into this leaf shape. The shape of the plant is much broader. This type is very convenient. Like tossing a cigarillo into the water. I like it.

Tofu is not called for in wakame salad, but this is my dinner tonight so I added it. 

Now, watch a Samurai come around and slice off my head for violating Bushido canon. 

The sauce is brilliantly simple and the most delightful thing that your tongue will ever orgasm over. 

* 1 tablespoon dashi (Seaweed and dried fish tea. They call it soup. Please.) 
* 1 teaspoon mirin
* 1 teaspoon sake
* 1+1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
* 1+1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1/8 teaspoon chile flakes
* if I added 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce it'd be better but then it wouldn't be vegetarian.

Yellow squash. Thinly sliced cucumber is called for, soaked in salted water for awhile, but I do not have any cucumber on hand at the moment so I used this yellow squash instead. Cucumber is a better choice. 

Wakame is like spinach except it tastes like the ocean smells and its texture is more firm. It's tougher. 

You know how a huge pile of spinach cooks down to tablespoon of vegetable. That's because you bought mostly water. This is the opposite.  It comes dry and impossibly light. A tablespoon soaks up to cup. It absorbs a remarkable amount of water. 

If spinach were sold dried like this then nobody would buy it. Or maybe they would. Maybe I just now thought up a new marketing idea.  

Toasted sesame seeds. My photos were erased. All they're good for is tiny white dots. You get more flavor with 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil. 

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