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Cucumber Seaweed Salad

This flavorful Paleo salad is inspired by a traditional Japanese side dish.

Seaweed salad is a popular side dish in Japanese and Korean cuisines. You can buy these salads premade, but they often contain a lot of added salt and sugars. This Paleo seaweed salad takes inspiration from more traditional versions and adds cucumber and pickled red cabbage while leaving out the soy sauce. 

RELATED: Are Algae and Seaweed “Superfoods”? 

Wakame seaweed is the star of this salad, a nutritious source of iodine and the amino acid tyrosine, which both support thyroid health. There are many types of seaweed you can add for different flavors and nutrient profiles. Though wakame is typically used in seaweed salad, arame may be another good addition for this recipe. 

We finish the salad with black sesame seeds, which contain plenty of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Black sesame seeds have a nuttier flavor than their white counterpart, and may have higher levels of antioxidants, too—but more research is needed. Look for un-hulled sesame at the store to maximize the nutrient intake from these little seeds.  


  • Soak the wakame for 5 minutes for a crunchier texture, or 10 minutes for a tender bite. 
  • If you’re pressed for time, grating the cucumbers will be faster than peeling into ribbons.
  • Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) omissions and substitutions are listed in the recipe ingredients.  

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  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
Print this Recipe


  • 1 cups red cabbage, shredded

  • 1 cups white wine vinegar

  • 1 oz dried wakame seaweed

  • 2 large Japanese or English cucumbers

  • 1 thumb ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 clove garlic, grated

  • 1/3 cups walnut oil (AIP - subsitute with avocado oil)

  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds (AIP - omit)

  • red pepper flakes, to taste (AIP - omit_


  1. In a medium bowl, soak red cabbage in white wine vinegar. Set aside.

  2. In another bowl, place wakame and cover with water. Let soak for about 10 minutes, until rehydrated. Strain and thoroughly rinse, then squeeze out excess water with a paper towel.

  3. While wakame is soaking, peel cucumber into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Place ribbons in a large bowl.

  4. To bowl with cucumber ribbons, add wakame, ginger, garlic, and walnut oil. Toss to coat.

  5. Divide salad between two bowls.

  6. Drain cabbage before using to top salads.

  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, if desired.

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