On my way home from a meeting about six months ago, I saw a little girl on the subway who was just picked up from school by her grandmother. The elderly woman took an individually wrapped seaweed snack out of her purse and handed it to the girl, who tore it open and munched on it joyfully. Not chips. Not a granola bar. Seaweed. “Isn’t that charming,” I thought to myself. I fall into the cookie-centric snacker category, but perhaps I could enjoy squares of roasted seaweed too.
The next time I was at the healthfood store, I picked up a package of Annie Chun’s sesame-flavored roasted seaweed snacks. I was delighted to find a tasty low-sodium, low-carb, low-sugar treat. Jammed with nutrients, certain types of seaweed such as nori are high in protein. Arame is a great source of potassium, and wakame is loaded with calcium and magnesium. In short, most of us should be eating more seaweed. Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks are high in Vitamin A and have intriguing flavors like sesame, wasabi and cracked pepper & herbs.
And then I started eating seaweed snacks as an alternative to my other junky intake, right? Well…not exactly. The package sat in the cabinet for about half a year, until last week when I decided I had to do something with it. It became clear I wasn’t going to snack on these. While they’re sort of interesting to eat, they brought back childhood memories of showing off that you can chew up and swallow little bits of paper. (Everyone did that, right?). Anyway, I carry almonds in my purse.
Since I still love seaweed in sushi, soups, salads and sandwiches, I decided to create this recipe for sesame cucumber seaweed bites. The flavor combination evokes veggie sushi, but with the addition of a sesame tahini spread balancing the ginger and complimenting the stronger seaweed flavor. I loved the crispy, crunchy, sweet and salty combination, and the sesame spread, with its healthy fats, makes this dainty appetizer a bit more filling.
This recipe makes 32 pieces but you’ll have some ingredients left over so you can slice up more cucumbers and away you go.
- 2 cucumbers, cut in ¼-inch slices (unpeeled if organic)
- ½ c sweet pickled ginger, cut into thin ribbons
- 1 .35-ounce package of Annie Chun’s Sesame Seaweed Snacks, cut into ¾ inch squares
- 2 T black and white sesame seeds for garnish
- Sesame spread
- ½ c tahini
- ½ t fresh lemon juice
- ¼ t garlic powder
- ¼ t salt
- In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt and stir to combine.
- On top of a cucumber slice, place ¼ teaspoon of sesame spread. Place a square of seaweed on top of the spread and press gently. Next, place another ¼ teaspoon of sesame spread, followed by two slices of pickled ginger. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat until you’ve topped all of the cucumber slices.