I live in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, in a small beach town on the Pacific Ocean. We are blessed to live in a tropical climate year round, but we have two distinct seasons here: rainy season and dry season.
Dry season is for six months out of the year, it begins in November and runs until April. This is where I find myself today, at the very end of dry season. It’s dusty, dry and hot. We are so ready for the rain. There have been a few days this week where the normally crystal clear blue skies have had a few rainy looking clouds and I couldn’t help but hope that maybe we’d get an early rain this year.
Rainy season (verano, summer) is from May to October and it is, by far, my favorite time of the year. The jungle and mountains turn lush and green again. It feels like nature hibernates during the dry season and with the first rain, all come back to life. The birds sing sweeter, the monkeys howl louder than before. Each day starts out warm and sunny, with a late afternoon or evening rain shower that cools everything off. This is also the time of the year when most of the tourists leave our little town, allowing the pace of local life to slow back down again.
A sure sign that rainy season is right around the corner is when you start to see the beautiful turquoise Motmot birds appear. Yesterday, as I was walking home from my morning walk on the beach I saw two different Motmot birds, one on a telephone wire and the other in a tree. Again, my heart filled with hope that rain would be coming soon, even though I knew that we are only at the end of March and still have the entire month of April to endure.
Last night, I was awoken by my oldest daughter in the middle of the night. “Mom, wake up – it’s raining!”
The three of us got out of bed and walked outside on the porch to see and smell the rain, giant smiles across our faces. The rain only lasted about 10 minutes but once the skies have opened, it’s only a matter of time. I can’t wait.
To celebrate the arrival of our Costa Rican summer, today I’m sharing with you a miso seasweed salad recipe. Once I started on a plant based diet, I started to find all kinds of new and interesting ingredients that I’d never used before. Miso is one of those things that I can’t believe I lived without for so long, it’s soooo delicious and adds such a layer of flavor to dressings and any Asian inspired dish.
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans with salt, koji (a fungus) and rice or barley. It is high in protein and like all fermented foods, rich in vitamins and minerals. It is typically described as salty but can also be described as sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory depending on the variety that you get.
Disclaimer: The photo in the picture is a different kind of seaweed salad then the recipe calls for. I am currently out of dried seaweed salad mix and haven’t been able to find a place to purchase it here. (We don’t have access to Amazon or online shopping here in Costa Rica so, I usually have to wait until I visit the States or have a friend fly in to visit me to get my products replenished.) This will not effect the way it tastes, I promise, just don’t expect yours to look like the photo.
I hope you enjoy this miso summer seaweed salad. If you make the recipe, let me know how it turns out for you.
- 15 gram (1/2 ounce) dried seaweed salad mix (about 1 handful)
- 1 Tbsp. miso
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. mirin
- 1 tsp. tahini
- 1 tsp. sesame seeds
- Soak the dry seaweed salad mix in cold water for 5-8 minutes. Drain the seaweed and squeeze out the excess water. Place seaweed in individual bowls or one large serving bowl. Chill the salad 20 minutes before serving.
- Combine all of the miso dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Put the dressing in a small bowl or dressing bottle. Mix or shake the dressing before pouring to the salad.
- Top salad with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve.
Recipe adapted from Justonecookbook.com.