This is a salad that stands alone as a course in its own right, but it is also excellent topped with grilled fish – especially an oily fish like mackerel or salmon. In this recipe I use arame seaweed, but you can use any seaweed you fancy. One thing to aim for is a good contrast in colours, sweetness and acidity, so choose an assortment of vegetables and spices to suit your taste. You’ll need to make the pickled vegetables a few days in advance to get the benefit of the pickling. Stored in a jar in the fridge they will keep for three months.
Mix all the vegetables and the ginger together. Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and star anise to the boil. Fill a glass preserving jar with hot tap water and leave it to warm for a few minutes, then tip the water out and pack the vegetables in. Pour the boiling vinegar over the vegetables and seal the jar while hot. Leave until completely cold, then place in the fridge for a few days.
Soak the arame seaweed in warm water for 3 hours and then drain, keeping half a cup of the liquid. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and fry the arame for a few minutes over moderate heat, add the soaking liquid and cook until it has evaporated, then leave to cool. To serve, mix half the pickled vegetables and arame with the sesame seeds before adding
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.