Japanese Traditional Snack – Kombu (Kelp)

ume kombu ume

Many of you may know about Umami flavor or Dashi (soup stock) of Japanese cuisine. When we make dashi stock, we use dried kelp and dried bonito…sometimes use dried sardine, shiitake mushroom. But not sure if people from other country know about this traditional Japanese snack which is made by kelp called kombu. (I bought ume flavor kombu snack since I am crazy about umeboshi project now!)  I guess it’s softe using vinegar and add some flavor..then dried.

When I was a kid, there are many varieties of snacks and sweets in Japan so I didn’t eat this much as snack… but heard the story that it’s popular among older people in Japan when they were young.  There are many kinds of texture…some are very chewy, other one is very thin etc… but chewy one is exactly like an chewing gum. The difference is…it’s natural food and good for health (contains fibers, calcium etc…)  That’s why I could understand why it’s sold at the movie theater in several decades ago just like we can find popcorns and chips and people enjoyed it while watching films. That’s really fun story for me.

There are many other beautiful Japanese confectionaries at stores… but I would like you to try the kelp snack if you are interested in umami taste or very traditional snack in Japan. There are many forms of package ..some are packed with plastic like my pic …others are in the small box.  And you will find big train station kiosk, convenience stores, super markets. If you go to the basement of department store (mostly food section is in the basement of department store), you may find more premium grade kelp snack. Then if you like the taste, you can bring some for your friends or family as gift. It’s very light and not so fragile so you can put them into the suitcase. (some rice crackers are nice too… but if it’s not in the box, easily break.)  Enjoy !!

P.S. I really liked the Kombu man printed on the package. So cute. 😉

Copyright – Asian Foodie

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. sanseilife says:

    My mom used to use Kombu sheets to flavor stock or other dishes. I never knew you could eat it. Off to the Asian grocery store for me!

    1. Asian Foodie says:

      Yes… but kombu for dashi is a little hard to eat as it is. So I recommend you to try Kombu snack. 😉 But even after used kombu for stock, we can still use it…cut finely and simmered with shoyu and mirin. It’s good for steamed rice too!

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