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Survey: Do you consider Seaweed Salad a salad?

Chemicalkinetics Nov 20, 2013 03:39 PM

Thank you for the generous replies on my previous thread "What is your definition of Salad?"

Now, I have a more specific question (after eating out in a Japanese restaurant a few time), which I like to hear from you. As the title suggests:

"Do you consider Seaweed Salad a salad?"


I am interested in your view, and please feel free to share your reasoning.

I can see why it is a salad because:
It is green, relatively low calories and carbohydrates, served cold, healthy (e.g.: high in iodine).

I can also see why it is not a salad because:
Seaweed is not a plant, and definitely not a vegetable or leaf...

So what is your guts feeling?

1) Yes, it is a salad
2) Undecided
3) No, it is not a salad


*edited* Several people have asked me about my previous statement about seaweed not being plants. Seaweed are algae and belong to the Protista Kingdom, not the Plantae Kingdom (plant). I hope this help.


  1. shaogo Nov 23, 2013 01:21 PM

    Seaweed salad is a salad. It's a vegetable wanna-be floating in an Asian-style dressing with sesame oil and a little rice wine vinegar.

    1. Chemicalkinetics Nov 23, 2013 01:13 PM

      Thanks for your inputs. I have to make a few educational guesses for assigning the preference, and some did not clearly state their opinions. If the assignment is incorrect, just let me know.

      This is the current list. Most of you (88%) consider the Seaweed Salad to be a real salad. Thanks.

      small h = Yes
      pinehurst = Yes
      fldhkybnva = Yes
      Isolda = Yes
      ferret = Yes
      deet13 = Yes
      saltylady = Yes
      lemons = Yes
      emglow101 = Yes
      chefj = Yes
      PotatoHouse = Yes
      jhinwa = Yes
      EWSflash = Yes
      fourunder = Yes
      Ttrockwood = Yes
      Kalivs = Yes
      MrsPatmore = Yes
      KaimukiMan = Yes
      wattacetti = Yes
      seamunky = Yes
      jmnewel = Yes
      ratgirlagogo = Yes
      LMAshton = Yes
      Sparkina = Undecided
      hotoynoodle = No
      Veggo = No

      1. Sparkina Nov 23, 2013 12:13 AM

        I don't know if I would consider it a salad or not, but I do consider it a tasty dish

        1. LMAshton Nov 22, 2013 05:31 PM

          I don't care if seaweed belongs to a kingdom that isn't the plant kingdom - it's still a plant in my eyes, and a vegetable, too, for that matter, so...

          1. yes, it is so a salad.

          1. fldhkybnva Nov 21, 2013 06:03 PM

            What else would you call it?

            1 Reply
            1. re: fldhkybnva
              ratgirlagogo Nov 22, 2013 12:22 PM

              That's what I was thinking. Yes I consider it a salad. By the way plenty of things that are not vegetables are eaten as salads, aren't they? Chicken, egg, tuna, salmon, larb, pasta.

              Edited to add that I see small h made just this point in the first reply. Doh!

            2. j
              jmnewel Nov 21, 2013 04:55 PM

              I consider seaweed salad a salad because that is the role it plays in my meal. Sort of like the tomato -- it is a fruit but we consider it a vegetable in our meal planning. Not everything is exact.

              1. s
                seamunky Nov 21, 2013 04:37 PM

                I consider it a salad

                And I consider it a vegetable (although not a plant) because I consider "vegetable" a culinary term and not a botanical one.

                1. MrsPatmore Nov 21, 2013 03:23 PM

                  Quote: "It is green, relatively low calories and carbohydrates, served cold, healthy (e.g.: high in iodine)."

                  Not to be nit-picky, but it's not always green and it's not always served cold - my beloved sea vegetables are delicious in so many ways in addition to the cold salad style served in most sushi restaurants (even here in East Podunk).

                  Here's a short NPR piece, with a couple of recipes: http://www.npr.org/2012/07/17/156918881/just-add-water-the-miracle-of-seaweed

                  Here's a nice version of crispy wakame (one of my favorite preparations): http://www.trephowellness.com/index.php/appetizer/ginger-wakame-crisps/

                  And this excellent cookbook (Rodale's Basic Natural Foods Cookbook) has an entire chapter filled with recipes for sea vegetables: http://www.amazon.com/Rodales-Basic-N...

                  I really can't think of any time that I've been served seaweed and didn't love it.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: MrsPatmore
                    Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2013 03:52 PM

                    <Not to be nit-picky, but it's not always green and it's not always served cold>

                    Yes, it is not always green and not always served cold. In fact, it is not always tasty and not always healthy.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      MrsPatmore Nov 21, 2013 04:43 PM

                      Well, color me sad if you've had a not-tasty experience eating seaweed, Chemicalkinetics! :=( I love the stuff and so far have never had an unpleasant experience. I just wish that it was more common in the US, since it has a lot to offer.

                      1. re: MrsPatmore
                        Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2013 05:10 PM

                        I am sure anything can be prepared poorly. Or alternatively speaking, we all have our preference. I am actually not a big fan of Spicy Seaweed Salad, aka Spicy Kani Seaweed Salad. Lot of mayo and lot of bread crumb:


                        I like mayo, I like bread crumb and I like seaweed, but sometime I don't like this. I don't hate it and will eat it if it is in front of me, but I don't think I won't say I like it.

                        I don't think it is that difficult to get seaweed, is it?. As far as I know, H-Mart and other Asian markets often sell these ready to go:


                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          Veggo Nov 21, 2013 05:31 PM

                          I'm waiting for your pie chart so I can feel what it's like to be in a distinct minority....:)

                          1. re: Veggo
                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2013 05:51 PM

                            :) Again, this is going to be an one-sided survey, isn't it?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              Veggo Nov 21, 2013 06:00 PM

                              Keep at it. Eventually you will stumble on an equal distribution!

                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            MrsPatmore Nov 22, 2013 10:33 AM

                            OK you got me on this one. I actually love kani (surimi, imitation crab, Krab, whatever you want to call it) but I got to admit, that "Spicy Kani Seaweed Salad" does not appeal to me, either!

                            It almost looks like someone took the prepared crunchy green seaweed salad with sesame dressing and mixed it with a bunch of heavy mayonnaise and shredded kani, then sprinkled it with perfectly good fish roe. The ingredients are all good but the combination, not so much. (To me, I don't want to yuck on anyone else's yum).

                            Reminds me of an "amuse bouche" served at a fancy restaurant in Mexico City (Biko) last month. It was compressed chunks of watermelon in a very strong tuna broth sitting on a drizzle of tahini. On their own, the ingredients are tasty to me, but that combination was dreadful IMHO. I couldn't eat it and I have an iron stomach.

                    2. w
                      wattacetti Nov 21, 2013 10:55 AM

                      1. It's a salad. Serves the same purpose as a bowl of lettuce.

                      1. KaimukiMan Nov 21, 2013 09:32 AM

                        If not a salad, then what is it. Yes, it is a salad.

                        and given the old 20 questions question: animal vegetable or mineral, i'd have to go for vegetable. maybe not scientific, but practical.

                        1. MrsPatmore Nov 20, 2013 09:44 PM

                          I consider seaweed a "sea vegetable" (sounds better than algae). The green crunchy variety sold in sushi shops, cold and dressed: yes, I consider that a seaweed salad.

                          But other types of seaweed, like hijiki cooked with carrots, is more like a side dish. I think condiment/seasoning when I think kombu. I think crunchy appetizer when I think wakame. And so on. The words that really come to mind when I think about seaweed are: delicious, healthful, versatile, convenient, and grossly maligned/under-appreciated in the USA!!

                          1. k
                            Kalivs Nov 20, 2013 09:22 PM

                            Yes, it's a salad

                            1. t
                              Ttrockwood Nov 20, 2013 07:44 PM

                              Yup. Salad.
                              Love it!

                              1. Veggo Nov 20, 2013 07:13 PM

                                3) Not salad, side dish. Always a small portion and very pricey.
                                But I like it!

                                1. f
                                  fourunder Nov 20, 2013 06:57 PM

                                  Cold....a definite yes....#1

                                  Hot....as an accompaniment ....no.....#3

                                  1. EWSflash Nov 20, 2013 05:42 PM

                                    I do consider it a salad. I consider it one of my favorite salads if I can barely taste the damn sesame oil, or not at all is even better. I love a combination squid/seaweed salad, too.

                                    1. j
                                      jlhinwa Nov 20, 2013 05:23 PM

                                      Yes, I consider it a salad.

                                      1. PotatoHouse Nov 20, 2013 05:18 PM

                                        And don't forget the fact that it also contains jellyfish tentacles.

                                        I have eaten it since I was knee high to a cuttlefish, so yeah, it's a salad.

                                        1. chefj Nov 20, 2013 04:30 PM

                                          Yes a salad and some Seaweeds are certainly Plants.

                                          1. emglow101 Nov 20, 2013 04:22 PM

                                            1. Also known as Ocean salad. It's the lettuce of the sea with dressing.Ok,it's algae.

                                            1. l
                                              lemons Nov 20, 2013 04:14 PM

                                              Sure, I'm comfortable calling it a salad. And I am sure seaweed would be considered a plant but I'm sure there's someone out there who can be more definitive about it. What about all those Thai "salads" that stretch the definition.

                                              Not nearly as much an abuse of a word as calling a molten chocolate cake a soufflé, or using lasagna or napoleon almost interchangeably, but don't get me started.

                                              1. b
                                                Bellachefa Nov 20, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                You lost me by declaring seaweed is neither a plant nor a vegetable.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Bellachefa
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Nov 20, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                  Seaweed do not belong to the Kingdom Plantae. Scientifically, they are not plants.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    c oliver Nov 21, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                    When I first saw you post I did a little googling and you're right. Fun fact.

                                                    And definitely a salad. The place we generally go has it for $5 which I think is quite reasonable. We share it and have a wonderful bowl of ramen.

                                                2. s
                                                  saltylady Nov 20, 2013 04:05 PM

                                                  yes , it is tasty , and refreshing and a side dish . Why is it not a plant????

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: saltylady
                                                    Chemicalkinetics Nov 20, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                    Seaweed is (are?) really algae. It belongs to a different Kingdom than plants. It belongs to Protist instead of Plantae

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      Bellachefa Nov 20, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                      well that's one school of thought

                                                  2. deet13 Nov 20, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                    1. Yes, a salad it is...

                                                    1. f
                                                      ferret Nov 20, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                      Is cole slaw a salad? If so, then why not seaweed salad?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: ferret
                                                        Chemicalkinetics Nov 20, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                        <Is cole slaw a salad? If so, then why not seaweed salad?>

                                                        Because coleslaw has a lot more vegetables than seaweed salad (Playing the devil's advocate)

                                                      2. i
                                                        Isolda Nov 20, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                        Yes, but it is a side salad, not a dinner salad. I love seaweed salad but cannot eat it in large quantities the way I can a tossed green salad or composed salad, or even macaroni salad.

                                                        1. hotoynoodle Nov 20, 2013 03:46 PM

                                                          in most places the dressing is FULL of sugar, so to me it's not counting towards my vegetable intake for the day, lol.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 20, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                            :) That's cool. My goal is not to convince anyone, just want to know what people think.

                                                          2. pinehurst Nov 20, 2013 03:45 PM

                                                            1 !
                                                            And I *love* it.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: pinehurst
                                                              fldhkybnva Nov 20, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                              Yea and yes!

                                                            2. s
                                                              small h Nov 20, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                              1) Yes, it is a salad

                                                              If macaroni salad and egg salad and tuna salad can be salads, I see no reason to discriminate against seaweed.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: small h
                                                                Chemicalkinetics Nov 20, 2013 03:42 PM

                                                                How the heck do you reply so fast?

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                  small h Nov 20, 2013 03:44 PM

                                                                  My brain works fast. Not as fast as my mouth, unfortunately, but fast.

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