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Desperately Seeking Seaweed

jordan | Mar 4, 200201:54 AM

Hi, I've seen you at almost every Japanese restaurants and in prepackaged seaweed salads at grocery stores. I'm the shy guy who always orders you and then is too smitten to start a conversation. When I try to find you for home consumption you are strangely missing from the stores . . .

Yes, I am a huge fan of seaweed salad. I've made it several times at home, however all the research I've done into seaweed types has yet to help me find the predominant variety I find at restaurants.

Yes, I've found the hijiki and the wakame--these are always available at asian markets--but neither is the kind that I love. The stuff I prefer is a beautiful shade of bright translucent green (like a healthy lawn on a sunny day), has an almost artificial-seeming luminosity, and is stringy like a thinner sunflower sprout with a pleasantly chewy texture. Hijiki and wakame are both dark green to brown. An avid internet search brought me to a site selling what looks like (from the primitive photo of the plastic packaging) a package called "hana mekabu," but I've still never found it in a store. It's maddening, because this is always the type of seaweed they serve in restaurants. Any seaweed experts out there who could help me out?

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