Kelp and Black Fungus Salad

This is a salad that I can easily toss, chill, store in fridge for up to 5 days, then nibble on it as and when I like it.  It doesn’t hurt that kelp and black fungus are 2 of the most healthy items in my dry goods pantry.  Kelp is often used for detoxification programs as well as an ingredient in beauty products.  Fungus is known to help lower cholesterol level, so it must be good in removing some bad stuffs out of our body.  And served with a handful of toasted sesame seeds full of antioxidants, I think I am eating skin food here.

Though the kelp and black fungus can be tossed without cooking, I blanched them so that they can absorb the black vinegar salad dressing better when they are hot.  In my opinion, this salad dish tastes its best on day 3, after the kelp and fungus have fully absorbed the dressing in the chiller.

Recipe for Kelp and Black Fungus Salad
- 5 pieces of dried kelp knots
- 1 large dried black fungus, about the size of palm
- 1 large red chilli, stemmed and sliced**
- 1/2 cup black rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds

*If you like  it spicy, you can toss some chilli seeds into the salad.

Place dried kelp knots and black fungus in a large bowl, covered with water, sit soak till soft.   About 1 hour.  Drain and clean to remove any dirt.

Slice the kelp and mushroom, thinly or widely, according to your preference.  Blanch them in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together black rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce.

Drizzle over the warm kelp and mushroom, add chilli, sesame seeds and toss well.

Leave in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

To serve, drain away excess salad dressing, and sprinkle more sesame seeds for garnishing.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

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