Emerald Cove Silver Grade Pacific Kombu is harvested from the cold waters off the north shore of the Shandong Peninsula of China, near Korea. It is cultivated on rope nets spread between posts planted in shallow areas of the sea bed, where it naturally attaches itself directly from the sea water. After harvest, Kombu is laid out to dry slowly and naturally in the sun, and is then packaged. This nutritious brown algae is used in a wider variety of Japanese dishes than any other seaweed and is prized for its flavor-enhancing qualities as well as its ability to make beans more tender and easier to digest. It has a sweet, delicious flavor and is most often used to produce a flavorful liquid called "Dashi", a multipurpose stock for soups, stews, and sauces. This simple dish is the first step in the preparation of many traditional Japanese and other Asian recipes.
To prepare, rinse Kombu briefly in running water and wipe lightly with a damp sponge or cloth. Do not remove the white minerals on the surface, as these are the glutamic salts which help make Kombu a valued flavoring agent in most recipes. Kombu need not be soaked.