Seaweed Salad

A bowl of seaweed salad made with healthy ingredients and is gluten free.

Seaweed salad, or wakame salad, became a huge favorite of mine while we were living in Hawaii back in 2012. I would always get a side of it when we'd go to the little poke shop by the beach. I loved the crunchy nature of it, and the sweet and slightly sour taste. I also thought it was super healthy.

I never thought to look into the ingredients in it, and just figured it must be fine since it was green and was made with seaweed. It wasn't until I tried making it myself a few years ago that I started doing some research.

First off – I had no idea most of the standard seaweed salads sold at sushi restaurants and poke places had green food dye in them. Now that I think about it –  that neon green color does seem pretty unnatural, but I just chalked it up to nature being awesome.

Secondly – I didn't realize just how much sugar was in it! I guess that's why I loved it so much. Unfortunately most commercial brands use white sugar, or even corn syrup.

Finally – most have soy sauce in them which typically contains wheat unless it's gluten-free Tamari.

3 strikes, and it's out. Very sadly out.

I've been making poke at home for years but have just forgone my beloved salad because I couldn't find it commercially available with healthy ingredients. Actually – fun story – the poke recipe that is in my first cookbook Against all Grain was written and photographed while we were living in Hawaii! about 1/4 of that book was developed in our little apartment kitchen there and shot on a balcony overlooking the ocean. Such fond memories!

I've been working on a new poke bowl recipe for you guys, and just had to have a seaweed salad to go with it, so I played around with a few different types of seaweed and dressings and found one that I loved. After trying a few different types of seaweed, including wake and red dulse, I found this instant seaweed salad mix that I really love. It has a mix of a few different types and it stays really crunchy and chewy. I got it on Amazon but I've seen it at my Whole Foods and other health stores in the area.

Honestly – I tried to make it without any sweetener but ended up using some coconut sugar to give it a more authentic taste. The plain version with just some coconut aminos, toasted sesame oil, and a little rice vinegar was lovely, but not reminiscent of that neon green, sugar soaked salad I used to love. Good news though – coconut sugar is low glycemic, and I guarantee I use much less added sweetener than your local sushi restaurant does. You could also omit the coconut sugar and blend the sauce with a few pitted dates for a natural sweetness.

Wondering what other sushi and poke ingredients have gluten in them? Stay tuned for my poke bowl recipe on Monday – I'll give you the guide!


Seaweed Salad



Cuisine: Vegan

Category: Salads

PREP TIME: 10 mins

TOTAL TIME: 10 mins



  1. Place the seaweed mix in a bowl and fill it with warm water. Let it soak for 5 minutes for crisp-tender (my preference) or 10 minutes until completely soft. Using a colander, drain the seaweed completely, pressing out the excess water.
  2. Whisk together the coconut sugar, coconut aminos, toasted sesame oil, sesame oil, vinegar, honey, sea salt, lime juice, scallion, and ginger. Pour the dressing over the seaweed and toss to coat. Place the salad in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, to chill and allow the flavors to meld. I prefer leaving it in the fridge for 1 day before enjoying. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy chilled.

Keywords: gluten free, keto friendly, nut free, paleo, salad, snacks, vegan, vegetarian, seaweed