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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. 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.

    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. 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. 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. 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. deet13 Nov 20, 2013 04:02 PM

              1. Yes, a salad it is...

              1. 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. 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. 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. 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. chefj Nov 20, 2013 04:30 PM

                        Yes a salad and some Seaweeds are certainly Plants.

                        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. j
                            jlhinwa Nov 20, 2013 05:23 PM

                            Yes, I consider it a salad.

                            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. f
                                fourunder Nov 20, 2013 06:57 PM

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

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

                                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. Ttrockwood Nov 20, 2013 07:44 PM

                                    Yup. Salad.
                                    Love it!

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

                                      Yes, it's a salad

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

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

                                            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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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