February 15, 2009
Diet, Dessert and Dogs has moved!
If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site. Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!
As always, thanks for reading. I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!
“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]
Full disclosure: even if I hated seaweed and loathed green soybeans, I would still have tasted this salad based on the poetry of its name alone. I mean, how can you pass up such alliteration, such euphony, such gastronomic lyricism?
Just listen to it: AH-ra-may. EEE-da-MAH-may. “Arame” brings to mind “aria.” And “Edamame” –well, “edamame” just makes me want to break out into song: “How I love ya, how I love ya, my EEE-da-MAH-MAYYEEE. . . .”
When I think of poetry, most of the time I think of how much I abhorred it in university (mostly because I could never understand it). Even when I went on a poetry bender at the suggestion of my crush-cum-mentor, Dr. D, I never quite “got” it. Let’s see; here’s my experience with poetry, in a nutshell: T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock” –I did dare, I did dare, but it just would not sing to me; Wallace Stevens’s “Sunday Morning,”–say what? WHO is the mother of beauty? (Just too creepy); Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro“–I was haunted by apparitions in every crowd for months; ee cummings’s “in-just”–it was spring and the world was mud-luscious, but the poems just weren’t; Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy“–I felt the need to throw away my black telephone; William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow“–(because so much depends on a red poet–no, make that red poet’s society–no; oh, whatever. Who cares?)
In the end, I felt as if I’d read thousands of miles of poetry and all I got was a lousy T-shirt.
One form of verse that always did intrigue me, though, was haiku (you were wondering how all this related to the recipe, weren’t you? And here we are: both Japanese-themed!). I’m sure you’re familiar with the stuff–a specific set of three metered lines, first seven syllables, then five, then another seven. What’s great about haiku is that pretty much anyone can do it.
Here are some examples to give you an idea:
Poetry scares me.
Once, I tried to understand.
Alas! What a waste.
Winter is cold, long.
Snow falls, so soft and so white.
Must I suffer so?
Or how about:
Elsie sleeps sweetly.
Chaser is a crazy girl.
Sit! Stay! Be like her!
In fact, the HH informs me that even he composed in this form of verse once, in grade school. Here’s his masterpiece:
He comes off the ride.
As the fair whirls round his head,
His dinner comes up.
Ah, yes, HH, The Sensitive Artiste.
More than anything else, I think that haiku makes poetry easy and accessible.
Well, think of this salad as the haiku of Japanese food, if you like–making seaweed accessible to all (or “sea vegetables,” if you prefer the more literary term). If you’ve ever wondered about kombu, nori, wakame, dulse, or any of those others but have been afraid to try them, this seaweed salad is for you. In fact, it’s already been taste-tested (and mightily approved) by hundreds of thousands of others, since I modeled this recipe on the extremely popular salad of the same name sold at Planet Organic stores. Except at Planet Organic, it sells for something like $6.99 per 100 grams ($31.73 a pound), which means you pay approximately $17.42 for two tablespoons (okay, I’m exaggerating–but just a little). Clearly, my version is infinitely preferable.
The salad is incredibly simple to prepare, with just arame (a fairly mild seaweed that looks sort of like black spaghetti) and edamame (green soy beans) as the major ingredients. Toss these with a rice vinegar/sesame oil dressing and some lightly toasted sesame seeds, and you’ve got yourself a delectable dish that perfectly combines sweet (the beans), salty (the tamari) and even umami (the seaweed). The bonus is a great source of protein and Vitamin C from the edamame, plus some much-needed trace minerals (and a few major ones, too) from the seaweed.
The soy and seaweed
Are in perfect harmony.
You will love this dish.
Arame and Edamame Salad
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