Shredded Kelp (Oboro Kombu), 0.7 oz
With a fluffy texture and rich umami, this paper-thin kombu is crafted by shaving the surface of kombu kelp by hand. The name, Oboro Kombu, comes from its thinness as people can even see through to the other side—“oboro” means “hazy” or “blurry”, which describes the blurred images people can see through the kombu. Because it’s super thin and light, you can use it as is, unlike other kombu products that require soaking in water before use. Also, it is feathery soft when it’s dry, but it melts and produces a jelly-like texture once it absorbs liquid. Izuri Kombu, a 150-year-old kombu specialty company in Kochi Prefecture, carefully selects high-quality, thick kombu grown in Hokkaido, soaks it in vinegar, and rests it overnight, before their skilled craftspeople then shave the surface manually—this process cannot be done by a machine. In Japan, oboro kombu is used as a topping for dishes like cold or hot tofu, simmered dishes, and aemono (Japanese-style salad dressed with non-oil sauce). You can also add it into soups, stews, and noodle soups, or use it to wrap onigiri rice balls or sushi rolls. No artificial flavoring or additives are used.
This fluffy kombu kelp, which has an elegant umami and a touch of sourness, is perfect for enjoying as is. You can snack on it, use it as a topping on cold or hot tofu, salads, pickles or simmered dishes, wrap onigiri rice balls or sushi rolls with it, and even use it to garnish pasta or pizza. But it also has a unique feature that will produce a jelly-like consistency once it’s mixed with liquid. So why not take advantage of this and mix it into soups and soup noodles to enjoy a thick texture and an umami-rich flavor. You can also wrap sashimi in it, just before serving, for an extra umami boost and an original presentation.