Konbu (or kombu), a tall, dark green plant which grows in shallow to medium deep cold seawater, is an indispensable staple in the preparation of Japanese foods. This particular konbu has been aged for two years and is shredded to offer a faster way to prepare dashi stock. It allows a greater surface area to volume exposure, ensuring that the maximum umami is released into the stock. This is now a popular item for professional chefs in the Kanto (Tokyo- Yokohama) region. If you live in a region with hard water, then using cut dashi kombu is the best way to get the maximum flavor.
Kombu is not only rich in minerals, vitamins, iodine and fibers, but is also a concentrated source of natural glutamic acid (or glutamates). When combined with the inosinic acid in foods like katsuobushi (dried bonito), it enhances the umami. Umami-rich foods can be found in other parts of the world (like Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in Italy), and is an essential component in any cuisine. Today, chefs all over the world have learned to use and embrace kombu, to enhance the flavors of their food (and minimize the use of salt).
Most of the kelp consumed in Japan comes from the cold, clean waters off Hokkaido, the northern island. Among the many species, Ma-kombu (or true bull kelp) is known as the king of kelp because of its fragrant bouquet and its ability to produce crystal clear, mellow, sweet, rich and refined dashi stock. Two year old ma-kombu is harvested annually during a short period from mid-July through mid-August. After the early morning harvest hundreds of moist kelp leaves are spread out on pebbles on the beach and dried naturally in the sun. Before the sun goes down the partially dried kelp is brought inside the factory barn, stacked up and left for overnight storage. Next morning the kelp is again laid over the pebbles for further drying. This process is repeated for several more days.
Then the hard and dried kelp is left outside after sunset to absorb nighttime moisture, making the kelp flexible, allowing it to be stretched and tightly rolled for storage. The stretched kelp is then trimmed by hand to remove the wavy edge, sorted by size and quality and finally it is dried further in the barn. At the end of the process kelp weighs only about 9% of its original material.During the drying process as internal water evaporates, fine white powder seeps out from the interior and covers the surface. This powder is the source of fragrant sweetness and umami.
Matsumaeya was established in Osaka in 1912 and since then they have been providing quality kombu products to the culinary hubs all over Japan.
Ingredients: 2 year Ma-kombu (true bull kelp)
Origin: 南茅部, Hokkaido in Japan
Shelf Life: 9 months
We import food products from Japan via sea, so the shelf life will be shorter than it is in the Japanese markets. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with the freshness and quality of this product and that it will be delivered to you within any applicable expiration dates. Food products cannot be returned unless the expiration date is within 30 days when the item is delivered. If any food items in your order do not meet your expectations please contact us within 4 days after the receipt of your order. You can reach to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (201) 806-1827.
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