Chinese Seaweed Salad (Kombu)


Chinese Seaweed SaladCan you picture this? A teenage girl hiding behind the kitchen pantry door and shoveling a handful of seaweed snack into her mouth like they were M&Ms.

That was me, and by the way, I prefer seaweed snack to M&Ms.

In my last post, I wrote about how I was not fond of cauliflower at that age (but now I am). However, my affection for the crunchy, ocean taste seaweed has never changed ever since the first time I had it.

When you hear talk about eating seaweed, do you think of the Nori sheet used to make sushi rolls? Nori is one type among many kinds of edible seaweeds you can find in nature. Most of you wouldn’t go to the beach to pick seaweed yourself.  Luckily, they’re available in most Asian grocery stores at very reasonable prices, in fresh or dehydrated forms. In today’s recipe, I’m using the dehydrated seaweed, called Kombu.

Chinese Seaweed SaladHow to prepare dehydrated Kombu seaweeds.

  1. Soak in warm water for 10 minutes the let them swell.
  2. Rinse well and drain.
  3. Cut into desired shape and size.
  4. Blanch in boiling water for a minute to remove critters and sand.
  5. Rinse in cold water or ice water immediately to preserve its crunchiness.

Chinese Seaweed SaladSeaweeds are a versatile ingredient to use in recipes. I’ve always been fascinated by all the different ways to prepare them: seaweed soup, seaweed salad, Nori rolls, stir-fried seaweeds with other vegetables, etc.  In this seaweed salad recipe, I kept it as a Chinese style using my homemade chili oil and spice broth. Instead of using sugar in the dressing (a common ingredient in most seaweed salad recipes), I chose to add some shredded carrot. It gives the salad a natural sweetness and an appealing color contrast to the dark green-brownish seaweeds.

Chinese Seaweed SaladThis low-calorie seaweed salad is appetizing, refreshing, and healthy. With the homemade Chinese style spicy dressing, you will probably want to pile your plate up with a second helping, just like me.

Chinese Seaweed Salad (Kombu)
Prep Time
12 mins
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
13 mins
Tools: A large mixing bowl, strainer, saucepan with lid, knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Joyce @Light Orange Bean
  • 2 oz dried Kombu Kelp seaweed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 small carrot shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup spice broth see note
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil see note
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Tahini
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
  1. In a large bowl, soak Kombu Kelp seaweed in warm water for approximately 10 minutes to allow it to swell. Rinse and drain. Cut the seaweed into thin slices.
  2. While the seaweed is soaking, mix together the dressing ingredients except sesame seeds.
  3. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the sliced seaweed to the boiling water and let it boil for 1 minute. Rinse the blanched seaweed with cold water in a strainer and drain well. Place the seaweed in the mixing bowl with the shredded carrot and cilantro.
  4. Pour the dressing into the mixing bowl and gently toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve cold.
Recipe Notes

For chili oil, see recipe here:

For spice broth, see recipe here:

Chinese Seaweed Salad (Kombu)


  1. Andrea says:

    Seaweed salad is so good. I have wanted to make it for a while, but I never got around to doing it. This sounds simple and delicious.

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