101 in 1001 #8: VwaV Chickpea-Hijiki Salad Sandwiches

For probably only the second time ever (the first time was the chickpea broccoli casserole, coincidentally), I’m not really happy with a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. The Chickpea-Hijiki Salad Sandwiches (and also, I must say, I am not amused by calling them sammiches — it’s not cute, it’s annoying) are … odd. The concept of the salad is that you add hijiki to chickpeas and standard cold protein salad ingredients (mayonnaise, vegetables) to get a taste and consistency approximating tuna salad. And I like tuna salad. So I bought some hijiki a while back and have been meaning to make this.

But. Although I think it’s probably about as similar as it can get, chickpeas and hijiki are not tuna. The hijiki is black strands of sea vegetable that look disturbingly like worms, and chickpeas are much firmer than tuna (especially homecooked ones rather than canned — I meant to food-process them instead of just mashing by hand, to make up for this, but I decided not to food-process at 11pm in order to not annoy my neighbors). The fishy taste is too much (for my fish-not-loving self anyway) when you get hijiki by itself, and not enough when it’s not in the bite. I also had to put in a bit of mustard to counter the Nayonnaise taste — again, I don’t think this is Isa’s fault since she actually recommends Vegannaise, which I’ve heard is better-tasting, and I could have used soy yogurt instead.

Also, the vegetables are minced onion and carrot, and I’m used to my tuna salad having celery, apples, and pickles. Maybe I should try this again with more resemblance to the tuna salad I actually like — and perhaps food process the combination of chickpeas and hijiki to reduce the worm factor.

At any rate, it’s one worth giving a try to see if you like the combo, and if you aren’t enthralled, see what happens if you change it up a bit. The recipe gets good reviews when I google for it, and a number of suggestions to try other sea vegetables like arame or nori. Though I have to suspect that a good number of these people are vegans who don’t really remember what tuna tastes like. I last ate it only about two years ago, so I’m pretty sure I remember and I’m pretty sure that while this is not far off, it’s Not Really Tuna.

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