This vinegary, sweet seaweed salad is a refreshing summer side dish! Miyeok (미역), also known as wakame, is an edible brown sea vegetable that is highly nutritional. Muchim (무침) means mixed with seasonings. Seaweed contains high levels of iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and detoxifying properties. It helps improve your health related to thyroid, bone, digestive, heart, etc. More than enough good reasons to eat seaweed!
As mentioned in my miyeok guk (미역국) recipe, because of the many health benefits, new moms traditionally eat miyeok guk (soup) for the first few weeks after giving birth to help with recovery. Ancient folklore tells us that our ancestors learned from seeing whales eating seaweed after giving birth.
Dried miyeok is staple in Korean pantries, and used to make soups and salads year around. In the raw/fresh form, miyeok is brown. You may see brown raw/fresh miyeok sold in markets if you are in Korea. It turns green when blanched in boiling water. You can use fresh miyeok for this recipe.
Once soaked, miyeok turns green, plump, and ready to be eaten. However, blanching it briefly in boiling hot water will slightly soften the texture and brighten the color of green. It’s typical to add some cucumber slices as well as Korean radish (mu), carrot, and/or onion. The vegetables add a nice textural contrast and color. I used a cucumber and a couple of red radish here. You can make this seaweed salad a little fancier by adding some boiled shrimp or squid.
- 1 ounce dried miyeok, 미역, (a little more than 2 cups soaked)
- 1 small kirby cucumber (1/2 Korean cucumber), thinly sliced
- 2 red radishes (or equivalent amount of white radish), thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Soak the dried miyeok for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse 2 or 3 times thoroughly. Drain after each rinse, and squeeze or knead (as if you are working with bread dough) to remove excess salt used in the drying process, and rinse off any hidden sand. Drain well.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Plunge the miyeok into the water and blanch for a minute. Drain and rinse in the cold water until the miyeok is cool. Drain well, and squeeze out excess water.
- Cut the miyeok into bite size pieces by running a knife through a few times in different directions.
- In a large bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients well until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the miyeok, cucumber, and radish. Toss well to combine everything together. Serve cold.