I know you might wonder why would I write about kelp. But this post is not going to be only about kelp, it’s about “salted kelp” which I think you could only find in Japan. I never knew about this food before but, believe me, it has long been eaten widely among Japanese households in a variety of dishes. I came across it first time when I went to a really good healthy restaurant in My Lord department store, Shinjuku. I ordered sauteed broccoli with scallops. Inside the mild flavor stood out this salty, intensely aromatic taste inside my mouth. I tried to figure it out for a while, then finally spotted little kelp strips hidden in the dish. From that day, I went straight to the supermarket and tried to figure out what kind of product it is. I was sure that it must be some kind of seaweed. I was surprised how blind I had been towards this one aisle of the supermarket I frequented for more than a year. Lying on the shelves were all types and all shapes for all purposes of seaweed, and there I saw my salted kelp.
It is usually sold in a medium to small pack, written as “塩こんぶ”. It looks like this…
Basically, it is kelp that is cut into 2mm strips and braised in shoyu (soy sauce) and then mixed with salt. Japanese people usually put it on top of the rice to give it flavor and texture. It is also widely used in cooking many main dishes such as pasta and put in various kinds of salad. Well, you can say that this salted kelp can be incorporated into any kind of cooking whenever you want an outstanding salty taste instead of merely putting salt. And don’t worry that your sodium level will skyrocket. one serving of it (5 grams) actually contains less salt than a bowl of miso soup or one Japanese plum (ume).
AND I’M TELLING YOU THIS THING WORKS MAGIC! It has its own place in my pantry now! 🙂 Really hope you guys can try it out!
Check out this product that I saw on TV recently from “Kurakon”. The salt used here is sea salt and the soy sauce is its own special recipe passed on for years, so you can be sure to get real intense flavor!
Better yet, visit its super fun website: http://www.kurakon.jp/shiokonbu/
I visited the “factory” and tried out all the games. hahaha I’m kinda free today so.. lol
Anyways, try it out!