Hijiki is a sea vegetable. Hijiki, like all sea vegetables are some of the greatest sources of natural iodine which is essential to proper thyroid function. Hijiki also has anti-inflammatory properties. Overall, sea vegetables have a very unique nutritional profile. Hijiki has been served for more than 10,000 years in Japan but is mostly ignored by Americans.
I was challenged by a client to get more iodine in her diet but she was sure she didn’t like “seaweed”. Hijiki is a great alternative since it has a nice flavor, minimal texture, and can be added to many different foods.
To use hijiki soak it for ten minutes, rinse and chop to desired size. Or purchase the already chopped, dried hijiki, which is what I used with this recipe. Also I used kobocha squash for the recipe because I didn’t want to peel a butternut squash – but the recipe works well with any squash.
Hijiki and Squash Ingredients:
- 2 TBS hijiki
- 2 cups kabocha squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp minced ginger root
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 TBS rice wine vinegar
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle raw honey (optional)
Hijiki and Squash Directions:
- Soak hijiki for 10 minutes
- Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water.
- While steam is building up in steamer, cut squash into 1-inch cubes. Peeling is optional with kobucha. Without peeling there is a “woodier” taste.
- Steam squash for approximately 7-10 minutes. Squash is done when it is tender.
- Whisk together remaining ingredients except honey.
- Transfer squash to a bowl and mash.
- Drain and rinse hijiki, combine in bowl with the squash.
- Add whisked ingredients and stir.
- Top with drizzled honey if desired.
- Serve warm or cold.