Japanese-style seaweed salad

A make-at-home version of a restaurant favourite!

It’s amazing how tastes change over time. A generation ago, you’d never have found little kids in North America devouring dried seaweed as a schoolyard snack, but it’s all the rage now. I love that seaweed has become a mainstream product, not only because it’s super tasty but also because it’s a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamin C, iron, calcium, fibre and more. Seaweed salad is also all the rage right now in Japanese restaurants and it’s super easy to prepare at home. As an added bonus, you won’t be ingesting yucky food colouring and other preservatives typically added to commercial seaweed salads to give them their unnaturally bright green colour. Homemade seaweed salad is a healthy alternative but it’s advised to consume in moderation given the levels of iodine that are naturally found in seaweed. If you enjoy making simple Japanese dishes at home, you might like these Sushi Salad Spoons or fun Sushi Nachos as well.

Japanese-style seaweed salad

At most health food stores, you can buy packages of different varieties of seaweed – the only one to avoid is toasted nori which is what’s typically used for sushi. I used wakame, arame and pretty purple dulse and it was a great combination of colours and textures. You might also find bags of seaweed salad mix which includes several varieties and would be a great choice.


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) loosely packed dried mixed seaweed, chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free version)
  • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) white sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) slivered green onions (scallions)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame seeds


  • To soften the seaweed, soak it in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.
  • While seaweed soaks, make the dressing. Put the ginger root, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and salt in a jar with a tight lid. Shake to blend well.
  • Drain the water off the seaweed and squeeze out excess moisture with your hands. Dry the bowl (or use another one) then put seaweed in the bottom. Drizzle 2/3 of the dressing to start, toss well and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed and add more dressing, just a bit at a time, until the seaweed is well coated but not soggy.
  • Sprinkle green onions and sesame seeds over top and serve immediately.

Makes 4 small servings.

Japanese style seaweed salad

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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