What is Kombu seaweed?
Kombu is the Japanese name for kelp and refers also to the method of preparation which dries the kelp as a strip or leaf. Our New Zealand Kombu, harvested from the North Island, is a very similar to the thinner variety of Japanese Kombu.
Kombu leaves are simply kelp dried whole, Japanese style. Kombu Leaves are pliable and lend themselves perfectly to wrapping food or to flavour simmering dishes.
Kombu Strips are simply kelp dried whole, Japanese style. Dashi Kombu, the strip is thick & flavourful and lends itself perfectly to stock making.
What are the health benefits of Kombu?
Because Kombu is kelp dried as a strip, it contains all the nutrients naturally found in kelp. Kelp is well known for its iodine levels, the highest of all sea vegetables. It is also an excellent source of trace minerals, vitamins and detoxifying fibre.
Kombu contains special compounds that are said to have a positive effect on degenerative diseases: Algins, Fucoidan, Laminarin, lignans and many anti-oxidants. Kombu is a positive alternative to salt, still salty, with less sodium chloride and more of the other minerals we need. Hailed to be the best source of natural iodine in nature, it nourishes the thyroid and optimises the metabolism. Kombu also contains exceptional pre-biotic fibre , essential to good digestion. Kombu also contains Mannitol – a natural sugar molecule with a very low glycaemic index – which gives a slight sweetness to the plant.
How do I use kelp seasonings when cooking?
Kelp/Kombu is a must for all types of soup stocks, enriching flavour and nutrition because it adds the much desired Umami flavour, and releases an abundance of minerals to provide a ‘salty’ taste (with reduced sodium).
Making stock using Kombu is a great way to introduce seaweed in your diet.
Many chefs never allow Kombu to boil because they claim it makes the stock bitter. Instead, soak the strip in ‘just boiled water’ and adjust the soaking time to get the desired flavour: for a stronger stock, the Kombu may be soaked overnight. A kombu strip can be used more than once to make stock or re-cycled to cook beans, then cut fine and added to soups/stews or to make a delicious marinade for vegetables/fish/meat.
Beans should never be cooked without Kombu, as it tenderizes, shortens cooking times and improves digestibility.
Kombu leaves are pliable and can be used to wrap food or add flavour to simmering dishes.
Here are a few more recipe ideas for Kombu
Where are the ingredients in Kelp seasoning sourced from?
Our Kombu is wild-harvested sustainably from designated coastal areas in New Zealand and tested for contaminants.
Warning – cooking with Kelp seasonings.
Being kelp, Kombu is very high in iodine. In NZ the RDI is 150mcg. Consume in small quantities to stay within the RDI for iodine. There is controversy over how much iodine one should consume, so please seek the help of a qualified health professional for personalised advice