Unique Korean Banchan: A White Seaweed Salad

Unique Korean Banchan: A White Seaweed Salad

White Seaweed Salad
Garlic Mayonnaise, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt

White seaweed salad makes a unique sea vegetable banchan (side dish). Seaweed “noodles,” also called kelp noodles, are made from kelp, water, and sodium alginate. Sodium alginate is extracted from the cell wall of brown seaweed. It is used as a stabilizer, thickener, and emulsifier in many common foods. In modernist cuisine it is used as the cold gelling agent to form spheres that have a thin membrane and are filled with a flavored liquid – a technique called spherification, pioneered back in 2003 by Chef Ferran Adrià at El Bulli.

Kelp noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and low in carbohydrates and calories, and rich in oceanic trace minerals. They have a neutral taste and surprisingly crunchy texture with a curious elasticity. Here, the salad is made with minimal preparation – the noodles are served raw, simply rinsed and coated with a garlicky mayonnaise, toasted sesame seeds and sea salt. The result is an unusual side dish that pairs especially well with spicy Korean dishes.

White Seaweed Salad Recipe

White Seaweed Salad Recipe

Rinse the seaweed well, then drain completely.
White Seaweed aka Kelp Noodles

Use kitchen shears to cut the long seaweed strands into more manageable lengths.

In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise with some minced garlic.

Unique Korean Banchan: A White Seaweed Salad

Add seaweed to the bowl and toss with the mayonnaise to lightly coat all the strands, add several shakes of toasted sesame seeds, season with sea salt to taste.

Unique Korean Banchan: A White Seaweed Salad

I served the White Seaweed Salad with my Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken (recipe here).

25 thoughts on “Unique Korean Banchan: A White Seaweed Salad”

      1. In Los Angeles, you can get it at Little Tokyo Market at the Little Tokyo Galleria. I found the salad in the prepared food section (where all the prepped Korean side dishes and kimchi are kept refrigerated). It came in a white styrofoam tray and it was called “Seaweed Noodles.” It had mayo, imitation crab, and cucumber in the recipe. Delish!! Much like a cold seafood salad with mayo.

      2. Thanks for this recipe! I recently had this at Soowon Galbi in Koreantown LA. It was so good I had to go online and try to find a recipe. Glad I found yours!

  1. Ive also been looking for a similar recipe after eating something like this from BBQ Hut – its a korean bbq restuarant in illinois. I was curious, what kind of mayo do you use? Like the brand and type? I know koreans have a lot of different types of mayo, and i was wondering if its the sweet mayo.

    1. Hi. I just found this recipe and excited to try this version. I cook many Asian dishes and well, used to live in Hawaii where Mac Salad is king. They use “Best” 100% mayo. I live in TX now. I hunted like crazy to find it and ended up ordering from Amazon. Turns out its the same as “Hellman’s” which is their “East Coast” brand and “Best” is their “West Coast” brand, lol. Identical packaging and all. I have been making my own version of this salad for years and used Hellman’s I would go that route or any 100% mayo if you don’t can’t find “Hellman’s” and don’t care to order 3 “Best” jars. (Hawaii is an Asian culturally dominant state.)

    2. We have this @ our Korean bbq place in Indianapolis too and I swear it’s Kewpie mayo. I don’t know for sure, but kewpie has a higher sugar content.

  2. Hi. How come my white seaweed feels like plastic and hard? Doesnt look edible at all . I soaked it in water and even microwaved it with water but it didnt soften at all. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for the recipe! I absolutely love this stuff. I first tried it at Soowon Galbi in Los Angeles just like AC above, and since I have been buying it in the banchan section at Koreatown Galleria Supermarket. I just bought ingredients to try to make it myself. The noodles say they are zero calories!

    1. Hi Christy – thanks for your comment. It’s a great banchan. Guests are always curious about the kelp noodles. For a more substantial side dish, you can add julienne cucumber, carrot, or even some crabmeat.

  4. I don’t suppose you have a recipe for green seaweed salad. Other than the jarred version from sushi bar at the local market, I haven’t found any info.

    1. Hi Marci – If you are asking about that bright neon green seaweed salad commonly seen in US sushi bars, it is my understanding that it is commercially produced using artificial dyes. Which is probably the reason you cannot find any recipes for it. Please let me know if you come across any more information, I would be very interested.

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