Kombu, a kelp seaweed with a robust flavor, thrives off the coasts of Hawaii, the United States, Japan and Europe. Due to its short shelf life, Kombu seaweed is most often sold dried. People often eat this variety of seaweed because it contains rich amounts of iodine, calcium and vitamin B2. One of this seaweed's most common uses is in a Japanese multi-purpose stock called Dashi to create sauces, soups and stews. Yet, other preparation options are also available.
Eating Raw Kombu
Rinse the kombu thoroughly under running water. If it is dried, soak it in a container of water for 10 to 15 minutes to reconstitute it.
Remove the kombu from the water with a large spoon, and place it on a clean, cutting surface. Pour the water into a jar with a lid and refrigerate. It can be used as a soup stock at a later time.
Place the kombu on a cutting surface and cut it into thin, bite-size strips with a knife. Add the desired amount of strips to your favorite salad or as a garnish for a soup.
Rinse the kombu thoroughly under running water and place on a clean cutting surface.
Chop the kombu into bite-size pieces and add to a stir-fry of onions and peppers. Stir fry until tender and then eat with rice.
Add two tsp. of chopped kombu to a pot of raw beans and water on a stove top. After approximately two hours the kombu will break apart and mostly disintegrate into the water. Remove the remaining pieces of kombu with a spoon or eat them as you eat the beans.
Using Kombu as a Condiment
Wash the kombu under running water, pat dry and place on a cutting surface.
Chop the kombu into small pieces with a knife and place in a dry skillet on a medium-heat setting. Stir the pieces of kombu with a spoon until they become crisp.
Transfer the crispy kombu pieces to a mortar and grind them into a fine powder with a pestle.
Sprinkle the powder over food such as rice or vegetables as a seasoning.
About this Author
A native Texan, Cynthia Measom has five years of experience teaching the writing process to public school students in grades three to 12. Measom received her B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. She is a certified teacher in early childhood through 12th grade. She has written resumes and bios for private clients since 2000.