Of Pods and Poetry: Arame and Edamame Salad

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Full disclosure: even if I hated seaweed and loathed green soybeans, I would still have tasted this salad based on the poetry of its name alone.  I mean, how can you pass up such alliteration, such euphony, such gastronomic lyricism?

Just listen to it:  AH-ra-may.  EEE-da-MAH-may.  “Arame” brings to mind “aria.” And “Edamame” –well, “edamame” just makes me want to break out into song:  “How I love ya, how I love ya, my EEE-da-MAH-MAYYEEE. . . .”

When I think of poetry, most of the time I think of how much I abhorred  it in university (mostly because I could never understand it). Even when I went on a poetry bender at the suggestion of my crush-cum-mentor, Dr. D, I never quite “got” it.  Let’s see; here’s my experience with poetry, in a nutshell:  T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock” –I did dare, I did dare, but it just would not sing to me; Wallace Stevens’s “Sunday Morning,”–say what? WHO is the mother of beauty?  (Just too creepy); Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro“–I was haunted by apparitions in every crowd for months; ee cummings’s “in-just”–it was spring and the world was mud-luscious, but the poems just weren’t; Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy“–I felt the need to throw away my black telephone; William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow“–(because so much depends on a red poet–no, make that red poet’s society–no; oh, whatever. Who cares?)

In the end, I felt as if I’d read thousands of miles of poetry and all I got was a lousy T-shirt.

One form of verse that always did intrigue me, though, was haiku (you were wondering how all this related to the recipe, weren’t you?  And here we are:  both Japanese-themed!).  I’m sure you’re familiar with the stuff–a specific set of three metered lines, first seven syllables, then five, then another seven.  What’s great about haiku is that pretty much anyone can do it.

Here are some examples to give you an idea:

Poetry scares me. 

Once, I tried to understand.

Alas! What a waste.

Or this:

Winter is cold, long.

Snow falls, so soft and so white.

Must I suffer so?

Or how about:

Elsie sleeps sweetly.

Chaser is a crazy girl.

Sit! Stay! Be like her!

In fact, the HH informs me that even he composed in this form of verse once, in grade school.  Here’s his masterpiece:

He comes off the ride.

As the fair whirls round his head,

His dinner comes up.

Ah, yes, HH, The Sensitive Artiste. 

More than anything else, I think that haiku makes poetry easy and accessible. 

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Well, think of this salad as the haiku of Japanese food, if you like–making seaweed accessible to all (or “sea vegetables,” if you prefer the more literary term).  If you’ve ever wondered about kombu, nori, wakame, dulse, or any of those others but have been afraid to try them, this seaweed salad is for you.  In fact, it’s already been taste-tested (and mightily approved) by hundreds of thousands of others, since I modeled this recipe on the extremely popular salad of the same name sold at Planet Organic stores.  Except at Planet Organic, it sells for something like $6.99 per 100 grams ($31.73 a pound), which means you pay approximately $17.42 for two tablespoons (okay, I’m exaggerating–but just a little).  Clearly, my version is infinitely preferable.

The salad is incredibly simple to prepare, with just arame (a fairly mild seaweed that looks sort of like black spaghetti) and edamame (green soy beans) as the major ingredients.  Toss these with a rice vinegar/sesame oil dressing and some lightly toasted sesame seeds, and you’ve got yourself a delectable dish that perfectly combines sweet (the beans), salty (the tamari) and even umami (the seaweed).  The bonus is a great source of protein and Vitamin C from the edamame, plus some much-needed trace minerals (and a few major ones, too) from the seaweed.

The soy and seaweed

Are in perfect harmony.

You will love this dish.

 

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Comments

  1. Most stunning salad EVER – love the colors!! And your poetry 😀

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I have some sea vegetables sitting in the pantry that I’ve neglected to experiment with. This is an easy way to get started.

  3. This sounds so nice and healthy (in a good way). I feel frustrated that I can’t find edamame here…grrrr…
    Love HH’s contribution to poetry.
    Here’s a little Haiku for you :

    Of soil and the sea
    Ricki’s salad looks divine
    may I have some please?

  4. This salad is gorgeous! I love edamame =)

  5. VG:
    Thanks! I love the color of the edamame, too (especially in winter, when there’s no other green in sight!) 😉

    lisa,
    I think this is a fabulous “starter” recipe–the arame is really mild, and all those other ingredients pair so well!

    shellyfish,
    You are a riot! I love it! I think we should all have a “blog haiku” day when we all do entries in haiku! (wish I COULD give you some!) 🙂

  6. Mmm this looks good. And as much as I love Planet Organic, they are pretty damn expensive, and sometimes you have to wonder, is it worth it to spend almost $50 for these 3 items? Probably not. Thanks for the recipe. Now with the money I’ve saved by not buying Planet O’s version of this salad, I can buy the Clean Eating magazine with your cake recipe! =) I flipped though the magazine yesterday, having just read the post you said it would be in, and wow, your right, they sure know how to glorify a cake. I wanted to eat the page. Well, I just got paid so, lucky me. I’m gonna be getting cake, AND I’m gonna eat it too.

  7. I don’t know, but your husband sounds like a haiku natural.

    I love the flavor combos in that recipe … now, how to find arame for a fair price! I am rebelling against the cost of seaweed at whole foods.

  8. This sounds fantastic Ricki! I can’t wait to try, I happen to have some wakame in the pantry!

  9. And I totally just realized it was arame, not wakame. I guess I’ll have to sub or just buy some arame!

  10. Wow. I can’t tell you how much I am craving this salad!! The multiple layers of texture and harmony of flavors sounds heavenly 🙂 Fabulous recipe

  11. Shelby,
    Thanks! It’s one of my faves, too. 🙂

    Crystal,
    Wish I could publish the recipe here, but it now belongs to the magazine. Glad you could save enough to get it, though 😉

    Alisa,
    I’d better not tell him you said that, or we may have even more of his lovely masterpieces being written! And I agree about Whole Paycheck-er, Foods–I try to buy my seaweed and nori sheets for sushi at Asian grocers (much less expensive!).

    Gina,
    I think you could sub wakame if you like the flavor–I’ve heard that some people find it too strong, though, and I already know that I love this with arame. 🙂

    Chris,
    Thanks so much! It’s actually pretty simple, but tastes much more complex, I guess 🙂

  12. That looks fantastic. I can’t believe they charge so much for that salad at Planet Organic. It does look so good though. Those are two of my favorite things: seaweed & edamame. Yum.

  13. It sounds to me like the HH quit writing poetry at the right time :). I could actually snack on these forever.

    Ricki – re our early conversation – check this out
    http://www.tasteto.com/links/

  14. Just lovely! I have nori shreds and edamame! I could maybe make do with those..

    re your comment.. I didn’t measure anything… I never do unless I think about it beforehand *usually if I am writing a recipe that someone has asked about before*..

  15. Beautiful salad… and poetic too! 🙂

  16. harmony is just right, i will have to find said ingredients and make this!!

    how ironic, i was thinking of posting my favorite edamame ravioli soon. and i was going to start with “edamame, how i love thee” too funny, you must’ve read my mind 🙂 or i yours…

  17. Great haikus and dish! If you ever want suggestions on good contemporary poetry, let me know!

  18. yumm 🙂

  19. I love your poetry discourse. There was a time in my life (hmm, angst-ridden, if I recall) when bad poetry flowed liberally from my fingers. Now I avoid writing it except in the privacy of my own head. I love your haikus. And I will try this dish soon. I hope. 🙂

  20. Ricki, your food pictures keep getting more and more beautiful each day! Until this day I did not know what haiku was, for some reason my brain was never interested in finding out what it was. Let’s see if I get how it works:

    Ricki rocks so hard
    Ricki rocks so very hard
    Ricki rocks so hard! 🙂

  21. Mmmm it looks fabulous! I desperately wish that I could eat edamame!

  22. it looks so pretty and sounds amazing – i love edamame!

  23. Haha Ricki, if you’d gone to a junior-high dance in the ’90s, you’d know Blink 182 ;o)

    P.S. Every time my Henry sees the phrase “that Henry” on your blog, his ears start burning because he thinks you are talking about him! (He doesn’t understand that there are other Henrys worthy of attention in the world!)

  24. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I’m glad that you also liked ExtraVeganZa. Are there any recipes you would especially recommend?

  25. I swear I know how this salad tastes! This is amazing, and tell me, who doesn’t love edamame?? Plus I LOOOOOVE seaweed and arame is very nice. This is a very tasty salad!

  26. Looks great!

  27. Edamame, I love thee
    I anticipate
    Enjoying this recipe!

  28. I agree the name is poetry but it has some of the mystery of poetry for me because I have never found endamame in Melbourne – maybe I have the wrong name or look in the wrong places! I think you should also add that it looks like a work of art 🙂

  29. Kelly,
    Well, maybe I exaggerated a bit–but it’s horrendously expensive there!

    giz,
    I agree re: the HH. Will get back to you re: the link! 🙂

    Melody,
    Can I submit a standing request for ingredients/ recipes?? Your stuff always looks so incredible.

    DJ Karma,
    Thanks so much!

    ttfn300,
    I guess edamame is just poetic that way! I’m totally intrigued by the idea of ravioli with it, though. . . looking forward to it!

    Jes,
    Yes, thanks! I’ll email you. 🙂

    Chou,
    Thanks so much! These weren’t angst-ridden (like some of my younger-era poetry) simply because they were entirely un-serious. But fun!

    River,
    Rap-haiku–I love it! You are too, too funny. 😉

    Vegetation,
    Sorry that you can’t eat edamame! Is it a soy allergy?

    Sal,
    Thanks! I love it, too.

    CCV,
    Well, I guess the only way I might have done that is as a chaperone ;). And poor Henry (yours)–maybe we could match him up with Chaser–what do you think?

    Kelly,
    Great book, no? I particularly love the Carob Chip-Peppermint Cookies and the Mocha Cheesecake. I also made the rice balls for a party and they were yummy, too, though I’d add more binder next time (such as a flax egg).

    Veggie Wedgie,
    Glad you like it! And I agree–edamame is so tasty, who wouldn’t like it? 🙂

    applec,
    Thanks so much!

    Gail,
    Thanks for the comment
    Glad you love edamame
    Now go make salad! 🙂

    Johanna,
    Sorry you can’t find it! Have you checked for “green soybeans” at Asian markets? I also love the color–such an intense, vibrant green, no?

  30. This looks so good! I really want to try Arame and Edamame! Two foods I never tired and will soon try!

  31. That salad looks fantastic! Like something really special. I wonder if I can get arame anywhere.

  32. While this dish does look beautiful and I do love edamame, I’m still scared of sea vegetables…

  33. Haiku of the Japanese world… Ricki — you would have been my favorite teacher of all time.

    Great poems and great recipe!

  34. That salad looks lovely…& sounds good… yeah a poetry! tho i am a bit skeptical abou the seeweed:-)

    I love that picture of the cake with the orange zest on the top. & congrats for getting featured!

  35. Sea veggies should definitely be a bigger part of my diet. I think it’s great that you made a salad of components you don’t especially like! I think it looks fantastic. And I love ALL the haiku!

  36. not only does the salad look scrumptious, the bowl’s to die for too.

  37. Wow, this really sounds incredible. I love both seaweed and edamame, and I’m always trying to work them into my regular meals. Thanks for the delicious idea!

  38. veganhomemade says:

    This looks and sounds so tasty. I don’t think I’ve ever had arame, perhaps it’s time.

  39. Thanks for such a beautiful and tasty salad. I am always looking for simple and unique ideas to break out of an eating rut.

  40. How did I miss this post? Haiku and Edamame – two of my very favorite things! This salad looks absolutely wonderful and soooo nutritious. And your haiku is very nice, though HH’s does have a certain charm. It reminds me of the ones my son wrote in high school. Very original!

  41. THANK YOU for posting this recipe! I LOVE this salad from Planet Organic and am tired of paying their exorbitant price. I bought some arame at Community Foods today ($7.99 for a pretty huge bag), crossing my fingers that someone had this recipe online. Will be munching on this all weekend – yay!

  42. Hey Ricki, This looks awesome… I am thinking of making this as a side for a Japanese dinner party. How many people do you think this recipe would serve as a side? I have to feed 12 people (eek!)

    • Hi Janet,
      The recipe says three servings, but as I recall, they were pretty generous. As a side, I’d say it makes 4-6, so if you double it, you’ll have enough, and if you triple, you will have enough for people to take seconds (I’d make triple and risk having leftovers rather than running out!). Oh, and how lucky are you to be having a Japanese dinner party?! 😀

  43. I wish I had found this recipe sooner! I too am a lover of this salad from planet organic, and miss it sorely now that I’ve moved away from the west coast (I make it a priority to get some whenever I’m in town)

    Last year I decided that I could make it too! I always have the ingredients around my house, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. It took me forever to get the proportions just right though, to get that perfect lightness it has – had I known you’d already figured it out it would have saved some time. My recipe is a bit different(I use cane sugar, and homemade gomashio, and no olive oil etc), but they’re pretty close – I’m definitely going to try yours, to see if theres a big difference.

    thanks for posting this!

  44. In name and ingredients that recipe sounds fantastic!

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