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Monday, September 2, 2013

Simmered Brown Algae Recipe (Hijiki-no-Nitsuke)

Hijiki (brown algae) has been a part of the Asian and Japanese diet for centuries. This nutritious, naturally growing seaweed is high in dietary fiber as well as rich in essential minerals iron, calcium, and magnesium. Every time my wife Junko feels weak she eats more hijiki. Iron is necessary for building hemoglobin and red blood cells and hijiki is known to help fight anemia. It's also recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers because of it's high iron and calcium content. Also according to Japanese folk wisdom, eating hijiki aids in beauty and helps produce, thick, black, lusterous hair. Probably due to its thick, black, hairlike appearance.

Hijiki is sold dried in small, thin pieces. It appears black and is somewhat hard compared to other seaweeds. It must be soaked in water before cooking. It has a dark flavor and is often added to other foods. This is an easy Japanese side dish recipe using hijiki, carrots, and abura-age(fried tofu). Abura-age is sold cold in brown, rectangular sheets. It's quite oily and must be drained.


  • hijiki(brown algae)                  40g
  • Abura-age(fried tofu)             2 sheets
  • carrot                                 1
  • soy sauce                            2 Tbsp.
  • sugar                                  2 Tbsp.
  • cooking sake                         2 Tbsp.
  • oil                                       1 Tbsp.
  1. Soak hijiki in water for 15 minutes. Then drain.
  2. Cut carrot into into long, flat strips.
  3. Rinse abura-age with hot water to remove excess oil and then cut into thin strips.
  4. Fry hijiki, carrots, and abura-age lightly in a saucepan, add water until covered. Simmer until soft.
  5. Add soy sauce, sugar, and sake and simmer another 10 minutes.

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