Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nori Quinoa Salad


We are avid sushi fans and love to eat nori when it’s wrapped around seasoned rice and fish or veggies. But lately, toasted seaweed has emerged as a go-to snack on its own, which got me thinking beyond the sushi bar. Nori is a wonderful sea vegetable. It contains protein, fiber and vitamins, plus it tastes good! So working more seaweed into our meals is an easy decision.


With fall’s arrival, a hearty grain salad is ideal for supper. I’ve made a warm rice salad with spinach several times, the hot grains wilting the fresh spinach just enough. This last time, though, I tossed in some toasted nori along with the spinach. I quickly discovered that nori sticks together in a mass when it hits the heat! So I made a pot of quinoa and tried again, this time adding small squares of nori and stirring to blend it in without clumping. Success!


Carrot ribbons, sliced green onions, sesame seeds and cooked salmon went into the bowl next. This salad is one of those “bits and bobs” recipes, where you can toss in any leftover veggies like broccoli or peppers, or another protein such as tofu or chicken. A lively dressing of lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce and ginger finishes the salad.


The salad components can be prepared ahead of time, allowing you to toss and serve it quickly for a weeknight supper. Full of texture and flavor, you get a little taste of the sea in every bite.


Nori Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked quinoa (I used a mix of red and white), kept warm or reheated
5 sheets of nori, toasted and torn into strips or squares
6 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
4 ounces carrots, grated or peeled into ribbons
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted (I used a mix of white and black)
1 cup cooked or smoked salmon, flaked (optional)

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and black pepper. Place the warm quinoa in a large serving bowl. Add the squares of nori a few at a time, gently stirring to wilt them and being careful that they don’t clump up. Add all the spinach and stir to wilt, too. Mix in the carrots, green onions, sesame seeds and salmon and then drizzle the dressing over and toss gently. Serve warm.

22 comments:

  1. My boys love nori! I bet they'd be all over this!

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    1. Isn't it wild how our children inhale nori? My boys grew up loving it, too. I didn't have it myself until my later teen years and I wouldn't have imagined it to be such a kid friendly food. I hope your boys like the salad!

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  2. We all love nori, you are so right, Fall is perfect for a warm salad using grains. I love the Asian flavors, it would so easily lend itself to different grains and proteins, Great salad Hannah!

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! This is definitely a clear-your-fridge type of salad and nori goes well with so many veggies. I hope you're enjoying some delicious fall cooking now. Such a cozy time!

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  3. This is so up my alley. We too are sushi fanatics. And I love everything about this scrumptious salad. It's on my to-do list this week.

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    1. Thank you, Lynda! I hope you enjoy this salad. Happy fall cooking to you!

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  4. Great way to use Nori Hannah and really perfect for the weather we are having on this side of the mountains (55 and grey for the most part). Is it cold there yet?

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    1. Thanks, Alyssa! We're having sunny crisp days, but the nights are getting pretty cold - time to bundle up. There's already snow in the passes, too! xx

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  5. Gorgeous and nutritious. The nori makes the salad. It's a great taste without having to add salt. Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much, Amanda! This salad does pack a lot of nutrition in between the quinoa and nori (and salmon if you add it). I balanced it out nicely by eating chocolate later! :)

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  6. This sounds absolutely splendid! It'd make a great weekday lunch--prep the night before, pack in the morning and go! I can't wait to try this and use up that package of nori that I've had forever!

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    1. Thank you, Brianne! This is a terrific way to use up nori and would make a very nice lunch. I hope you enjoy it!

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  7. I don't have a lot of nori experience because I don't really like sushi (cold rice gives me the willies) but this salad looks amazing, like autumn on a plate. I love quinoa, too (and salmon).

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    1. Thank you, Lauren! This would be a nice way to give nori a try with some different flavors. And if you have some toasted seaweed leftover it really does make a terrific snack - my boys devour it. :)

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  8. I've never used nori in a salad before! Terrific idea - I'll bet the combo of flavors of this is awesome. Really fun (and tasty!) recipe - thanks so much.

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    1. Thanks, John! The nori really adds a unique flavor to the salad. I'm thinking about adding nori to some soups this fall since I always enjoy it in miso soup.

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  9. lovely salad! so creative! I love a clean out the fridge salad! would love to try this!

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    1. Thank you, Alex! I hope you enjoy it. We're entering the "clean out the fridge" soup season, too. :)

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  10. Such a healthy and hearty salad - I love it! Good use of nori here, adding extra layer of unique flavor. I use nori in many dishes, but come to think of it, not in salad! Surprise! I'm inspired. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Nami! The nori does add unique flavor and I'd like to try using it in more dishes.

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  11. haha ... This is my favorite food, at a place we called "LOTEK" !

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    1. I'm glad you've enjoyed this before, Kyusoku!

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