Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Celery, Wakame and Green Onion Salad

This healing dish concentrates on the medicinal properties as its first priority instead of choosing random ingredients to make a dish. This dish is actually for my brother who lives in Taiwan. He’s been living there for almost twenty years and life there is a little bit stressful compared to living in the Philippines which is actually a breeze for most people. Take out foods, canned foods and instant noodles became his diet for so many years until he developed gout which is quite serious compared to other people I know plus fatigue, headache and other different symptoms that is quite challenging to take care of. For his condition, the simplest yet healthy foods is what he needs right now.

This salad is one of the dishes that he’s going to eat. This is an easy yet powerful dish to make with only three ingredients and a dressing. When you serve it with wild salmon which is high in essential fatty acids, then it becomes an anti-inflammatory meal. However, there are some people who might react to salmon as they are moderately high in purines which can cause an increase in uric acid levels. But I haven't known anyone who reacts badly to this fatty fish (except maybe for sardines and mackerel) and this salad actually goes well with salmon.

Celery is widely used in making soups, stocks, stir-fries and in certain salads. There's a delicious celery salad with Medjool dates, walnuts and blue cheese. I'd like to use more celery not only as a background for certain dishes but as a main ingredient.

Celery is known for its high water content and is good in regulating blood pressure. Salt is linked to increasing blood pressure; it may seem ironic that celery has high organic sodium content that gives it a salty flavor. This organic sodium is actually important in keeping the lymph healthy and removing calcified build-ups in the joints. Organic sodium also helps hold calcium in the bone. When calcium comes out of the bone (from various reasons), crystals form in the joints, causing pain, inflammation and swelling. Refined and iodized tables salts also greatly contribute to this problem.

Wakame is of the highest sources of calcium among the sea vegetables. It aids in tissue repair and strengthening of bones. It also has a high iodine content which is doubled when eaten with fat (such as oil). When wakame is eaten with an acid such as vinegar, it helps in reducing the bad cholesterol from the body. The color of soaked wakame can sometimes range from dark moss green to dark bright green. You can also see some hints of blue and cyan.

The green onion helps speed up blood circulation and absorbs vitamin B1 which helps reduce stress and tiredness. They add bite and spicy undertones to the dish.

The dressing is very simple and can be tossed with Asian noodles. The miso provides some easily assimilated amino acids. You can adjust the flavor if you want more sourness, saltiness or sweetness on the dressing. This is an uncomplicated recipe but the celery needs to be sliced very thinly and choose the inner part of the vegetable as well. The amount for the ingredients can vary as we have different sizes of celery and green onions all over the world. I normally do 2 parts celery to 1 part soaked cut wakame and about ¼ part of the green onion.

Eat this dish about 4 times a week to reap the benefits for other arthritic and rheumatic conditions. Drinking fresh celery juice with some green apple and lemon alkalizes the body. It is also calming on the digestive system.

Celery, Wakame and Green Onion Salad

Makes 2 servings

Miso Dressing
  • 6 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp shiro miso (or other unpasteurized miso)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ cup dried wakame or 1 cup soaked cut wakame
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 green onion
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
To prepare the dressing, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until combined. Transfer to a jar and set aside until ready to use.

To prepare the salad, soak the wakame in water for 5-10 minutes depending on the size or about 15 minutes if you’re using whole wakame. Next, thinly slice the celery on a bias to make 2 cups. Then remove the root ends of the green onion and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces.

When the wakame has softened, drain through a strainer and gently squeeze out the liquid. If you’re using whole wakame, cut into smaller pieces. There may be tough ribs that need to be removed but I find that it doesn’t cause any inconvenience at all so I leave it as is.

To finish the salad, combine the sliced celery, cut wakame and green onion in a bowl. Toss with the dressing until lightly coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with grilled salmon or chicken and brown rice.


  1. Hi Divina, will be using this recipe. I so happen to have bought a bunch of celery from Planet Organic yesterday. Plus got some leftover wakame in my pantry. Thanks for sharing. Hope your brother gets well. Take care!

  2. Hope you like it. It's not a recipe for everyone. But you have good celery there. If you are under stressed every single day, celery is one of the anti-stress food. It calms you down. Pair it with organic chicken or any high-tryptophan food and good fats, you'll have a good night sleep.:)

  3. Love the combination of flavors. All green that are healthy, and the recipe is yet delicious. It's a keeper

  4. Hi Divina, I followed you from TheCookbookChronicles--your photos are lovely! I don't know what you're complaining about ;-) They really are stunning. I guess we are our worst critics!

  5. I love wakame. Just so easy to use. Looks great in this salad. I always cook it in soup with bean curd skin. To add into salad is such a good idea. I think adding cucumber will also be nice.


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