Seaweed is an important part of the diet in Japan, there are dozens of varieties that are eaten on a daily basis. Kombu is part of the kelp family and is a key ingredient in making 'Dashi Stock'. As well as containing lots of really great vitamins and minerals, seaweed has strong umami properties - the 5th element of taste which sort of describes 'savoury deliciousness'.
The classic way of using kombu is to soak it in cold water for about 4-5 hours at room temperature and then bring everything up to the boil, removing the kombu just before it boils. You would then add Bonito Flakes and leave for a further 30 minutes before straining through kitchen paper - see my recipes for Kombu Dashi Braised Shin of Beef.
Alternatively, you can just slip a piece kombu into a traditional stew, in much the same way you would use a bay leaf.
Or try this in our Easy Chicken and Mushroom Ramen recipe
May contain Molluscs, Fish & Crustaceans
Ingredients: Dried Kombu Seaweed 100%