Sichuan Cucumber & Kelp Salad with Pickled Vegetables

• 4 cups of fresh raw kelp (reduces to 1 1/2 cups after blanching)
• 3 cups daikon radish, julienne cut
• 2 cups carrot, julienne cut
• 4 cups of english cucumber, seeded and cut into half-moons
• 3 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1-2 tbsp Sichuan pepper paste
• Dash of garlic powder (or to taste)
• 1 lime wedge
• Handful of: picked cilantro, sliced scallions
• Generous pinch of toasted sesame seeds

1) Rinse raw kelp with cold fresh water. Cut kelp strips to desired shape and size (1-2 inch strips is recommended). 
2) Place a small saucepan filled with salted water on high. While waiting for water to boil, prepare an ice bath (place 10-12 ice cubes in a medium sized bowl and fill with water).
3) Blanch kelp in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain through a strainer, and immediately place the strainer over the ice bath, allowing the kelp to be submerged in cold water. Gently squeeze excess water from the kelp and set it aside.
4) Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add sugar and rice vinegar, and whisk to dissolve.
5) Place the julienned daikon and carrot in a large, metal or glass bowl. Pour the hot pickling solution over the julienned daikon and carrots. The vegetables should be completely submerged. Set aside and let cool to room temperature (25-30 min).
6) While veggies are pickling, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, Sichuan paste, garlic powder, and juice of one lime wedge. Set sauce aside.
7) Drain the pickling liquid from the cooled daikon and carrot mixture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the sliced cucumber and blanched kelp.
8) Drizzle the Sichuan sauce over the veggies and gently stir until the salad is well coated. 
9) Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and sesame seeds. Salad can be enjoyed immediately or after being stored in the fridge.

Make-ahead option: once prepared, this salad will store nicely in the fridge, covered, for up to one week.

Yield: 4 servings

Where to Buy

You can find Sichuan peppercorn paste at your local Asian market or natural food store.

Kelp for this video was grown in Freeport by Spartan Sea Farms, who is offering local delivery for a limited time.