How Do You "Kombu"? or Do You "Seaweeds" and Eat Them?
How do you use kombu? What about other seaweeds?
And...What is your favorite seaweed salad; how do you select the seaweed and with what do you dress it? Photos of packaging that will help at the market would be appreciated!
To me selection is whatever is available. Not many orient markets here, so if I run across something, I get it (once in a while).
I guess my favorite is sea kale (canned), due to its tough texture (rather enjoyable as something different in a salad). Wakame comes in at #2, since it pairs well with its softer texture and mild flavor.
I don't use any dressing. On occasion a sesame oil/seed vinaigrette is called for, but I mostly just toss it with bits of strongly flavored chopped stuff (pickled things, onions, radishes, beets, etc.).
Personally I adore seaweeds as edibles.
Nori is great snack food.
Kombu, is use sorta like Bay leaves, you cook stuff with it but you don't eat it .
I sprinkle Hijiki, crushing it a bit into my broths (I have a hot water stand alone dispenser and can make instant broth instead of tea or coffee) , I also reconstitute it for stir fry sorta stuff, it is not a bland flavor, it stands on it's own.
Wakame is my fave, light, crisp can snack on it, ;place it into my broth cups, use like spinach for salads, use it as spinach (more flavor so less) in main dishes. Love it.
Yep, I like to eat a sheet of nori as a snack in the afternoons...I've tried the nori snacks sold in individual packets but sometimes they're made with palm oil and/or lots of added salt, not the best thing and the packaging is very wasteful. Also like nori snipped into strips for my salads. Kombu, I love to use in a broth as others have said above; mine is with dried anchovies and dried shiitakes. Then I do like to eat the kombu after it has flavored the broth.
I learned about kombu during a macrobiotic phase 20 or so years ago. Pretty much for the broth and flavoring purposes outlined above.
Wakame is great, especially in something like miso soup.
Hijiki with carrots, sesame seeds, etc., is a great side dish.
I'm sure I could find more creative uses for all of them with just a little research.
Konbu is used for making broths, wrapping and marinating seafood, and is also eaten in sort of folded fronds by itself in oden. Wakame is often eaten as a tossed salad item, although usually with Japanese vegetables such as daikon, etc.
We make two simple salads out of konbu and wakame.
The konbu salad is chopped napa cabbage, strips of salted konbu from this company--> http://www.fujicco.co.jp/products/det..., and a light glazing of sesame oil for dressing.
The wakame salad is a recipe from my ML's Niigata Prefecture home town. It is a mixture of wakame, Japanese long onion called negi (similar to Welsh onion), cubed abura age, mixed together with shiro-miso, a small bit of cooking sake, and small amount of sugar.
Hijiki we make the standard simmered dish with strips of carrots and gobo (burdock rook), sprinkle some sesame seeds, etc.
Nori has countless applications. These days we are mixing a shredded nori-based furikake with edamame and a few other things for a nice little bean salad.
So here we go with the kombu:
*Broth-soak a 4x4'' piece of kombu in a quart of water (10x10cm + 1,1L water) for 2 hours, then heat it until it barely simmers then remove the kombu. You can then use it with dried bonito flakes to make dashi, a multi-purpose Japanese broth, used for clear soups, miso soups and marinades, or keep it plain kombu. I make a batch and it lasts for a week in the fridge.
*With the leftover kombu from the broth, julienne very thin and cook in water with a little soy sauce and a pinch of sugar for 1 hr-make sure there is always enough water. When cool, you can use it in salads. I like to make a dresssing with miso, cider vinegar, honey, grated ginger and garlic, a pinch of cumin and turmeric, sliced scallions, a drop of sesame oil and finished with plain veg. oil.
*Use a piece of hydrated kombu and use it as a wrap for any firm fleshed fish (did I hear Halibut), then roast the fish in the oven or on the BBQ
*Cook beans with a piece of kombu=less toots and better taste.
*Roast the kombu in the oven at 375F then grind with roasted sesame seeds, sea salt and pepper to produce a salty condiment. You can use other ingredients and then it can be used as a crust for cooking meats of fish.
Another interesting product is dried wakame leaves. They rehydrate very quickly and are tender and fresh tasting. Again to be used in salads, soups, as a veg dish. The taste of wakame works well with miso, and pairs really well with cucumber as well as fresh salmon (tartare-crudo-ceviche)
Make a Korean style soup with beef, chili pepper, and wakame- Myeokguk-Yummy!
Hijiki is fun as well-more like strands rather than leaves-same idea-salads, soups, stewed
Hope this helped