This Korean Sweet and Sour Seaweed Salad is the Perfect BBQ Side Dish

Plate of seaweed salad with chopsticks
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 min
4-6 servings

Naturally briny, yet subtly sweet, miyeok (seaweed) is a Korean pantry staple used in soups and salads for that perfect umami taste. Miyeok muchim (seaweed salad) is often served with other banchan (Korean side dishes) — however, BBQ fare is the quintessential accompaniment to the vinegary, crunchy and cold flavours of the sea. Pair this sweet and sour seaweed salad (say that three times fast!) with any grilled protein or with noodles and leafy greens.

Related: 14 Healthy Recipes with Seaweed

Like Soo’s seaweed salad recipe? Try your hand at her pork banh mi burgers or restaurant-worthy Chinese scallion pancakes.



1 ¾
cups dried seaweed
cup distilled white vinegar
tsp sugar or honey
onion, thinly sliced
tsp sesame oil
clove garlic, minced
tsp soy sauce
tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
Tbsp sesame seeds
mini cucumber, thinly sliced
English cucumber, julienned (use a Japanese mandoline if you can!)
tsp toasted sesame seeds
tsp Korean hot pepper flakes (optional)



Chill time: 20 minutes. Look for large, clear packages of dried seaweed in Korean/Asian grocery store or order online.

Korean sweet and sour seaweed salad ingredients
Step 1

Place dried seaweed in a large bowl and cover with cold water until fully expanded and supple (about 20 minutes). Drain and rinse twice, swishing it around to remove the salt used in the drying process.

Korean seaweed in water
Step 2

While the seaweed is blooming in the cold water, make the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, stir the vinegar and sugar until dissolved. Stir in the onion and let it pickle for 5 minutes before adding the sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, sea salt and sesame seeds.

Step 3

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the seaweed and blanch for 30 seconds; drain and cover in cold, running water until cooled. Drain and squeeze excess water with both hands. Roughly chop the seaweed and let stand in a colander or sieve.

Step 4

Add the cucumbers and seaweed to the vinaigrette mixture. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and Korean hot pepper flakes before serving.

Note that you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If you’re planning ahead, toss in the cucumbers a few hours before serving. The cucumbers and seaweed will continue to release water, so toss and taste the salad, adding more vinegar or a pinch of sugar if needed.

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