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Survey: Do you consider Seaweed Salad a salad?

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.


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  1. 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: Chemicalkinetics

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

      1. 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

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

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: ferret

              <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. 1. Yes, a salad it is...

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: saltylady

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

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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bellachefa

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

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

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

                      1. Yes a salad and some Seaweeds are certainly Plants.

                        1. 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. Yes, I consider it a salad.

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

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

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

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

                                            1. 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/2012/07/17/1569188...

                                              Here's a nice version of crispy wakame (one of my favorite preparations): http://www.trephowellness.com/index.p...

                                              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

                                                <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

                                                  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

                                                    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

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

                                                      1. re: Veggo

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

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

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

                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        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. 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. 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. re: fldhkybnva

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

                                                          1. 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. 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.