Ocean’s Balance Organic Whole-Leaf Kombu $9.95

For an authentic versions of Japanese pantry staples, we trust Ohsawa.

The company emphasizes the principles of whole, natural foods espoused by its founder George Ohsawa, who started the modern macrobiotic food movement in the 1960s. The company’s unpasteurized, organic products are made only with local ingredients and traditional methods for pure Japanese flavor.

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Simply steep in barely simmering water to make a light, fragrant broth. Make cuts like fringe around the edge of the kombu for better flavor extraction. Once steeped, the kombu can also be transformed into a delicious garnish or flavor component. Cut the steeped kombu into matchsticks and simmer in a mixture flavored with aromatic ingredients, such as soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar, until tender. Add some chiles for a hint of heat.

Kitchen Notes

Don't wipe away the white powdery crystals on the dry kombu-- that powder is an important source of savory flavor compounds.

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