Hetty McKinnons Seaweed Lettuce Salad
Hetty McKinnons Seaweed Lettuce Salad

Kombu, a type of seaweed, is boiled and then placed in a bowl with leafy greens, avocado, and scallions. A tangy sesame dressing drizzled on top creates an absolutely desirable array of flavor and texture.

This is a green salad like you’ve never tasted before. The star of the show is kombu, a type of seaweed often enjoyed in East Asia but easy to find in the US

What’s in Seaweed Salad

Kombu becomes tender and silky after cooking and rehydrating, but still retains a crisp bite. It is a salad ingredient with savory flavors and pleasant textures

The crunchy lettuce adds freshness — I like red oak or butter lettuce for its creamy finish, but any leafy greens will do here. Iceberg lettuce would add a more pronounced crunch, while a peppery leaf like arugula would provide another layer of flavor. A raw shredded cabbage would also be a worthy substitute.

A perfectly just-ripened avocado provides a buttery backdrop that brings the kombu and salad together in one happy union. If you want a richer salad, you can add a tangle of rice or mung bean noodles.

Spicy sesame dressing

The spicy sesame dressing is a workhorse that’s perfect not only in this salad but in many others as well. It’s sweet, savory and tangy, with a tart note from the rice vinegar and is the perfect powerful antidote to the softer leaves.

This dressing also pairs well with a cold soba noodle salad or even grilled veggies.

Is Seaweed Good For You?

Seaweed is considered by many to be the future of nutrition. As the world’s most sustainable food, it is zero-input, meaning it requires no freshwater, fertilizer, forage, or farmland to thrive. It readily absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon dioxide straight from the sea and multiplies at a phenomenal rate – it can grow up to 2.5 cm per day.

Aside from its sustainability characteristics, seaweed is also very nutritious — it also contains more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than orange juice, and more protein than soybeans. In fact, fish does not naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids; You get these nutrients by eating seaweed.

Aside from their environmental and environmental superpowers, seaweed is also delicious. In 1908, Tokyo Imperial University chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda identified the glutamic acid in kombu seaweed as umami, the elusive fifth taste that makes food more delicious.

Aside from sushi and toasted snacks, seaweed is an ingredient that can easily become a common staple, as is the case in Japan and many other Asian countries.

Types of Algae and Where to Find Them

There are many types of edible seaweed – wakame and kombu are both great for salads as they absorb flavor like a sponge.

With a distinctive black and shredded texture, hijiki is great for stir-fries or served cold in a salad. Add a stick of kombu to your soup to deepen the flavor, or gently simmer with water for 10 minutes for a quick dashi.

Seaweed is most commonly sold dried, and you can easily find it in Asian markets, at Whole Foods, or online, although there are now a few companies that sell the highest quality fresh frozen seaweed, grown in the clear, frigid waters of Maine .

In this seaweed salad recipe I use kombu (kelp), but you can also use wakame or hijiki.

About To Asia With Love

To Asia with Love draws heavily on the blending of Eastern and Western cultures to capture light, healthy and vibrant Asian dishes that are rooted in tradition, but not tied to it. The book’s author, Hetty McKinnon, a mother of three, has written a cookbook for families who want to cook incredible meals every night of the week without feeling upset. Quite simply: this book makes cooking fun.

More recipes from Hetty McKinnon, author of To Asia with Love

  • Flourless Soy Sauce Brownie
  • Grilled cabbage with peanut sauce

Seaweed Salad by Hetty McKinnon

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
20 minutes

total time
35 minutes

up to 4 servings

Reprinted with permission from To Asia with Love by Hetty McKinnon. Copyright © 2021. Published by Prestel Verlag, a member of Penguin Random House.


For the salad

  • 5 x 9 inch piece kombu (Above 3/4 ounce), soaked in warm water for 15-20 minutes

  • 1 head salad (red oak or butter), leaves separated, thoroughly washed and dried

  • 1 avocadosliced ​​or cut into thin wedges

  • 1 tablespoon roasted white Sesame seeds

  • 1 spring onionfinely chopped

  • sea ​​salt and black pepper

For the spicy sesame dressing

  • 1 clove garlicgrated

  • 1 spring onionfinely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Gochugaru (Korean Red Chili Flakes) or 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes

  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon roasted white Sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon sea-salt


  1. Boil salted water and cook the seaweed:

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the soaked seaweed and cook until tender and crispy, 12-15 minutes. drain. When cool enough to touch, tear or cut the seaweed into bite-sized pieces.

  2. Make the Spicy Sesame Dressing:

    For the spicy sesame dressing, combine the grated garlic clove, chopped spring onion, sugar, rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and salt in a small bowl.

  3. Arrange and serve the salad:

    Mix the seaweed, lettuce and avocado in a bowl and pour the dressing over it. Season with sea salt and black pepper, garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions and serve immediately.

nutritional information (per serving)
285 calories
24g Fat
18g carbohydrates
5g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!