Recipe Sleuth: Kaz Sushi Bistro’s Seaweed Salad

This salad is one of our favorite ways to start a meal at chef Kaz Okochi's downtown DC sushi haunt.

At most Japanese restaurants, seaweed salad is a bore: A commercially premade product with no modifications. When Kaz Okochi opened Kaz Sushi Bistro 11 years ago, he vowed to serve innovative Japanese cuisine. So he dressed up that conventional seaweed salad with many textures and colors, thanks to cucumbers, daikon radish, glass noodles, and a variety of seaweed types.

To recreate the salad at home, Chef Kaz recommends foraging for ingredients from a Japanese market such as Hana on DC’s U Street or H Mart (multiple locations in Maryland and Virginia). If you don’t own a julienne slicer, or mandoline, slice the ingredients into long, matchstick-size pieces.

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Kaz Sushi Bistro’s Seaweed Salad

Serves 6

Make the salad:

3 medium Kirby cucumbers, skin on and seeds scooped out, julienned (preferably using a mandoline)
8 ounces daikon radish (about ¼ of a radish), julienned (preferably using a mandoline)
6 ounces carrot (about ½ of a carrot), julienned (preferably using a mandoline)
3 ounces dry wakame seaweed (available at most Asian markets), soaked in cold water, drained and lightly squeezed to avoid excess water
2 ounces glass noodles (available at most Asian markets), cooked in boiling water, strained, chilled in ice water, and cut into 3-to-4-inch pieces
5 ounces premade seaweed mix (available at most Asian Markets, usually in the frozen section)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to taste with sesame dressing (recipe below)

Make the dressing:

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
¼ cup sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.