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Cooking With Kombu: The Seaweed Superfood

This member of the kelp family is considered to be a healthy superfood as it’s chock full of vitamins A, B, C, E, K and minerals such as calcium, iron, iodine, and manganese. Most kombu sold today comes from Japan where it has an extremely long history, potentially dating back to earlier than 6th century BC. Look for dried sheets of kombu in health stores, the Asian food aisle of most well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets, or even online.

Flavor and Texture of Kombu

Kombu imparts a salty earthy flavor when steeped in broths or added to soups while cooking. Typically, the seaweed is removed prior to serving, similar to how one would remove a bay leaf once the recipe is done simmering. Kombu can also be dried and ground into a powder to be used as a condiment on finished dishes such as sandwiches or rice.

Storage and Usage of Kombu

Dried powdered kombu can be stored for years if kept free of moisture in a cool, dark place.  The product could go bad and grow mold if it unintentionally becomes wet. Pick up some kombu dashi and try it in our Mizutaki (Chicken Hot Pot) or use it to make soup with your own add-ins such as noodles or mushrooms. Kombu can also be used to soften beans while they cook thanks to the amino acids in the seaweed, simply remove the kombu after cooking or try eating it with the beans.  

Feature Image: By Froggieboy – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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