Monday, July 13, 2009

Red Cabbage, Jicama and Hijiki Salad

Not another cabbage salad recipe. I know there are many versions of these salad and endless variations can be still be made. The truth is, the first and the last time I’ve made a cabbage salad, rather slaw was in culinary school and I’ve never made one ever since. So, I’ll do my own version of a cabbage salad or slaw. Let’s just call it salad because it is a salad.

Red cabbages are available nowadays but they’re more expensive than the green ones. They have anti-cancer properties, high in antioxidants, relieves inflammation and a long list of healing benefits. However, if you have problems with your thyroid, it is best to avoid raw cabbage as they contain goitrogen, a naturally occurring substances in certain foods than can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.

For this salad, instead of using apples or carrots, I'm going to pair it with some local and cheaper jicama which is high in water content. Jicama has an almost similar texture with water chestnuts. We usually eat it raw and is eaten if your mouth feels dehydrated.

Hijiki is a sea vegetable that has a strong flavor and fishy odor. I can’t eat hijiki on its own so adding them with the cabbage and the jicama would hide some of their strong taste without deceptively burying them from other people who hates them. My brother actually removed the hijiki from the other dish that I’ve made before because he thought that it was not edible.

Another ingredient that that I like to use more and more is kesong puti which adds a touch of creaminess and some sunflower seeds for that extra healthy fats that most people avoid. If you need some energy foods, sunflowers seeds is one of those finest pick-me-up foods that nature provides.

The dressing can be made from any type of acid and oil. If you don’t want to use another bowl, what you can do is combine the cabbage, jicama and the hijiki or whatever ingredient you’re using. Then, drizzle with some good quality oil and an acid such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and season with sea salt and black pepper. This is the simplest dressing you can make. However, you can also make a simple dressing in a bowl by adding a touch of honey or mustard or both. You might prefer a creamier dressing by using mayonnaise or yogurt and some fresh herbs.

The beauty of this salad is that it is so versatile you can change the ingredients without relinquishing good flavors. If you’re not fond of cabbage salads then you can try this Braised Red Cabbage Recipe by Steve.

Red Cabbage, Jicama and Hijiki Salad

Makes 4 Servings

Sultana-Lemon Dressing:

  • ¼ cup sultanas or currants
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider 0r sherry vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried hijiki
  • 1 small red cabbage (about 300 grams)
  • 1 jicama (about 250 grams)
  • 3.5 ounces kesong puti (about 100 grams)
  • 3 tbsp raw sunflower seeds

To start the dressing, soak the sultanas in hot water for 20-30 minutes. In a blender, combine the softened sultanas with water, sherry vinegar and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and with motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Transfer to a bowl or jar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

To start the salad, soak the hijiki in water for 10 minutes. Next, cut the cabbage in half, remove the core and shred finely. Then, peel and cut the jicama into matchsticks. Drain and rinse the hijiki and shake off the excess water.

Combine the cabbage, jicama and hijiki in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large platter. Crumble the cheese over the salad and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

I do wash the halved cabbage before shredding. They might be enclosed but you’ll never know what’s inside.

To save some time, prepare the ingredients for the salad while the sultanas and jicama are soaking.


  1. Just wondering what is the benefit to Hijiki? Is it super nutritious?

  2. Hello Kair. Hijiki is very nutritious. They are high in trace minerals. Some minerals in grains and nuts are hard to absorb by the body because of the phytic acid. Minerals in hijiki and other sea vegetables are easily absorbed. They are high in iron and better source of calcium than milk. There are more health benefits of hijiki that I will write about soon. But hijiki is also great for hair, skin and nails that's why Japanese women eats them almost everyday but in small amounts.

  3. Sorry for the typo on your name, Kari.

  4. Thanks! I will see if I can find it and will look forward to your next post on it.

  5. Hi. Your photos and dishes are so inspiring! I really need to start cooking again! I moved from London to Moscow recently so it's either difficult or expensive to get the kind of ingredients I need. But on holiday in US right now so making the most of it. I especially love my new discovery of Hijiki.

  6. Thank you so much. I never thought someone would find it inspiring. I'm still in the process of finishing my blogpost about hijiki and the its controversial debate about arsenic. Enjoy your stay in the US as well as the abundance of affordable fresh ingredients that are in season right now. :)

  7. We love this. Good one...keep them coming! Best from Montecito, California, S

  8. This is an awesome sounding dish. I have never tried hijiki but it sounds intriguing.


Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.