Hijiki is a nutritional powerhouse, replete with fibre and a variety of essential minerals. It is sold in dried form, and when soaked in water it swells up to 5 times its weight!
Disclaimer: some countries have issued a warning against consuming hijiki as it contains inorganic arsenic. However, it has been eaten in Japan (the country with the highest life expectancy) for centuries; what’s more, soaking, rinsing and cooking hijiki reduces the amount of inorganic arsenic, and eating it with other vegetables may help eliminate it from your system.
This Japanese recipe usually includes carrots and fried tofu. You can change it up by adding or replacing with dried shiitake, canned pre-boiled soy beans, ground pork or chicken, lotus root, and konnyaku.
This dish is great for bentos, and since hijiki freezes well, you can go ahead and make a big batch to store in the freezer. However, konnyaku doesn’t freeze well so if you’re adding it to this recipe, keep the leftovers in the fridge and eat within a couple of days.
- 20 g dried hijiki
- ¾ piece fried tofu
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 30 g carrot
- 150 mL dashi
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Put the dried hijiki in a bowl and add about twice as much warm water. Soak for 30 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and rinse.Pour some boiled water over the fried tofu, then julienne into 2cm long strips.Julienne the carrots into 2cm long strips.
- Heat a saucepan and add the oil, then add the carrot and hijiki and stir fry over medium high heat. After a couple of minutes add the fried tofu and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
- Mix in the dashi and sugar, cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and reduce heat to medium low. Cover with a drop lid (we used a makeshift one of parchment paper here) and simmer until the liquid reduces to about a third. Can be served hot or chilled.