After I spooned this hot from the pan last night, I found it unusual even for my generous taste. I’d been wanting to make a dish with seaweed for a few weeks, and thought this combination up when a bag of brussels sprouts was included in the aforementioned Thursday night Mystery Box.
Initially hijiki was what I imagined using, but then I read about significant levels of inorganic arsenic present in this sea vegetable — see the food standards reports published in Canada and the U.K. (Neither the U.S. or Japan have cautioned against eating it.) The delicious kelp known as arame, however, seems to have passed the carcinogen test. Don’t fret too much over this news; like all organic things, some seaweeds attract minerals that others don’t want or need. I’ll leave it to you to learn more about arame’s health wonders, and where you can purchase some in your locale.
Today I packed last night’s leftovers in my lunch box, and ¡sorpresa! It’s a terrific cold salad. The sprouts inevitably retain a bit of bitterness, so I recommend eating this with something mellow and rich, like grilled cheese or potato gratin. Trust me, despite the slightly off-putting opener, this dish is worth it.
2 cups arame
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3/4 lb. brussels sprouts
1 1/2 cup stock
Zest from 1 lemon
Soak the arame for 5 minutes in fresh water. Cut off the base of the brussels sprouts and pull off the leaves; chop the cores very fine (this may take a little time, but have patience, or give this task to another set of hands). Wash the sprouts and set aside.
Squeeze the excess water from the arame and add it to a frying pan hot with sesame oil. Sauté for about five minutes, then add the stock and brussels sprouts. Stir until the sprouts are mixed in well, cover, and let simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or until sprouts are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Zest the lemon and grind the pepper directly into the pan and incorporate. Chill.