All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Hijiki no irini, chikuwa-iri / saute-simmered hijiki seaweed with chikuwa fishcakes

A small side dish with mineral-rich hijiki seaweed. This is relatively sweet and strongly flavored without being overly salty.

1/3 of recipe:
49 calories; 3.3 g protein; 0.9 g fat; 6.7 g carbohydrate; 4.7 g net carbs; 134 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 185 mg with regular soy sauce); 5 mg cholesterol; 2.0 g fiber


(Serves 2-3)

10 g hijiki seaweed
2 chikuwa fishcakes (62 g in photo)
Small handful green vegetables (36 g saishin yu choy sum in photo)
1 small knob ginger
1/2 taka no tsume red chili pepper (slices)

1/2 tsp oil

For broth
150 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1/2 tsp kurozu brown rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauc


Soak hijiki in plenty of water for 15-20 minutes to rehydrate.

When rehydrated, drain.


Boil chikuwa to desalinate.
Here, chikuwa is placed with water in a container, covered, microwaved for 2 minutes, and left to sit in the same water for 15 minutes.


Thinly slice ginger.
Cut yu choy sum into 3-4 cm.
Thickly slice chikuwa diagonally.


In a pot, heat oil, and saute ginger on medium low heat until fragrant.


Add hijiki, and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add red chili pepper, and saute for another minute or so.


Add dashi, sake, mirin, kurozu and half of specified amount of soy sauce, and bring to boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 6-7 minutes.


Add chikuwa, mix, and continue simmering until liquid is almost gone.


Meanwhile, boil or microwave yu choy sum; drain or let cool (uncover if microwaved).


Add remaining soy sauce, mix well, and cook 1-2 minutes while stirring often.


Immediately before serving, mix in yu choy sum.

  • Both using kurozu and adding soy sauce at two different times are intended to reduce the amount of soy sauce.
  • Yu choy sum is added at the very end in order to maintain its green color. If color is not a concern, it can be added immediately after hijiki is ready in Process 9 above or can be cooked with hijiki instead of boiling or microwaving it separately.
  • This is a handy addition to bento. If using it for bento, put aside some yu choy sum and mix it in when putting this dish in the lunchbox. A bright green color is always pleasant when you open a bento.
  • Sauteing is optional. It is to reduce the  raw "seaweed" taste of hijiki while adding a rich note to the dish.
  • Any green vegetable, including leafy greens and beans, works fine. Root vegetables such as carrots, gobo burdock root and renkon lotus root are also a nice addition.
  • 1/2 of recipe above: 73 calories per serving; 4.9 g protein; 1.3 g fat; 10.0 g carbohydrate; 7.0 g net carbs; 201 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 278 mg with regular soy sauce); 8 mg cholesterol; 3.0 g fiber

(Last updated: January 24, 2014)

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