Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weeds o' the Sea

A lonely mermaid lay at the bottom of the sea, singing softly to herself. She sighed, overwhelmed by the vast weight of all that water. Nearby, a hermit crab watched her out of the corner of his bulging eye. Moving in cautious bursts, he clambered from rock to rock, swishing closer until he stood to the side of her left elbow. They looked at each other solemnly, then blinked, one after the other. Grasping onto his slightly chipped secondhand shell as tightly as his inner uropods were able, the crab stretched out his tiny left claw toward the mermaid. His trembling, rust-red pincher held the most lovely bunch of seaweed. The dark green strands waved gently in the current. The mermaid's stomach rumbled approval, and as she smiled, rainbow-filmed bubbles slipped from the corners of her mouth toward the surface high above. It should be noted that hermit crabs are in fact quite social creatures.

The seaweed bouquet included:

a wakame ribbon, which was chewy with a soggy sort of crunch...

...tangled threads of arame, which were crispier and tasted less strongly of the sea...

...and finally hijiki, which seemed to be the saltiest, the crinkliest, and, to the mermaid's tastebuds, the most delightful.

She ate them plain, but you can soak them in a bowl of water, then lay these seaweeds on top of a meal of tofu and barley with rice or put them in your soba noodles with miso broth. More on these sea vegetables here. Rainbow Grocery sells many seaweeds in bulk so you don't have to commit to a large, expensive package if you want to sample them first. The mermaid painting lives on the side of a house in San Francisco's Mission district, on Shotwell Ave. between 22nd and 23rd St.

1 comment:

Travis White said...

I wanted a pet hermit crab really badly when I was a kid.