Japan Eats

Recipe: Hijiki no nimono (stewed hijiki)

This classic seaweed dish is simple and healthy. Add it to your next bento, or serve it alongside rice as a main meal.

Hijiki is a well known seaweed in Japan. There are two kinds: me-hijiki, (hijiki buds) which is relatively easy to prepare, and naga-hijiki, the stem of hijiki seaweed. Naga-hijiki takes longer to soften but has more texture.

Hijiki no nimono is considered to be “mother’s home cooking” (“ofukuro no aji“) and is rich in fiber, iron and calcium.

This dish usually contains carrots and deep-fried tofu pouches. Small pieces of chicken, shiitake mushrooms and edamame (boiled soy beans) can be added to the recipe.

This is a dish is good on the day it is prepared and even better the next.

Hijiki no nimono

Hijiki no nimono

Ingredients (For 6 – 8 people)

  • 25 g of me hijiki (dry)
  • 1 deep-fried tofu pouch
  • 80 g of carrot
  • 80 g of burdock roots
  • 80 – 100 g of boiled soy beans
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sake
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin
  • 3 and a half tablespoons of soy sauce


Fill a bowl with 1 liter of cold water and soak me hijiki for 15 – 20 minutes (refer to the me hijiki‘s package) before draining the seaweed.

Cut the carrot into rectangular strips 4 – 5 cm long and 2 mm x 2 mm wide.

Fill a small bowl with 500 ml of cold water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Wash the burdock root and cut it into long thin strips, shaving it as though sharpening a pencil. Soak in the bowl of cold water to remove any bitterness and drain.

Pour 100 ml of hot water onto the deep fried tofu pouch and remove the excess oil. Cut into pieces 5 mm thin and 3 – 4 cm in length.

Place a pan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the carrot and burdock root, then sauté for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the me-hijiki, mix the ingredients well. Sauté  for a minute more. Finally add the aburaage.

Add 200 ml of dashi soup,and turn the heat up to medium-high. Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat back down to medium-low and add 1/2 table spoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sake, 1 tablespoon of mirin and 3 and a half tablespoons of soy sauce.

Simmer until the liquid is almost gone and serve.