Seaweed, samphire, carrot salad

This salad is as much about texture with the raw carrot and apple, as flavour of salty, sweet and a little heat if you feel up to it.  The sesame seeds have a major role here adding their sweet nuttiness unless you hate them I wouldn’t skip it, but if you  do, then replace them with toasted sunflower seeds.

Once  they’re hydrated they taste much milder and not like it smells.  Not dissimilar to dried porcini or shiitake.

There’s four different types of seaweed.

Below left is agar, the very same seaweed we can buy as agar agar.

One generous 1/3 cup


Nori seaweed is easily available everywhere.

This nori seaweed packs comes in three small individual packets making it ideal for one serving like this salad.

The sesame seeds add a touch of sweet nuttiness.

They must be toasted.  Heat in the dry pan on a low heat.

When they start to turn a golden colour move them around the pan, if they start to stick use a spoon.

They will carry on toasting off heat.

Put them aside to cool.

To cook the samphire bring a pan of water to the boil.

Add the samphire, bring back to the boil and cook for 1 minute.

Drain it and run cold water over them to maintain their colour.

Mix soy sauce, mirin, sugar and heat in a pan or microwave until the sugar has dissolved.

Off the heat add vegetable or olive oil, it rounds off balancing the dressing.

Add the dressing to the seaweed and samphire along with the sesame seeds.

Grate a carrot finely.  Cut an apple into matchstick size.  Add the carrot, apple and chill if using to the salad.

Just before serving snip the nori into little pieces.  And add them to the salad.


Seaweed, samphire, carrot salad
The sugar is necessary here because it balances the natural saltiness of the seaweed and samphire. Serves 2 small portions
  • ⅓ cup of dry mixed seaweed salad
  • 1 - 1½ sheet of toasted nori seaweed
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, toasted
  • 40g / ½ cup of samphire (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese or light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (light muscovado if you have it)
  • ½ - 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, grate finely
  • 1 apple cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 mild chili finely chopped, or few drops of tabasco or the Japanese 7 spice pepper, shichimi (optional)
  1. Put the mixed seaweed salad in a bowl and cover it generously with hot water, use boiled kettle water but wait until it's cooled for a couple of minutes before pouring over the seaweed. Let the seaweed hydrated for 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Bring a pan of water to the boil and throw in the samphire, boil for one minute and drain. Run cold water over the samphire to keep its colour.
  3. To make the dressing, in a pan add soy sauce, mirin, sugar and water until the sugar dissolves you can do it in microwave. Add the oil.
  4. Mix salad ingredients and dressing together. Just before serving top it with the nori cut into little pieces with scissors.