Makombu Tsukudani (Pickled Seaweed)
This sweet-salty seaweed condiment is terrific atop rice or noodles, sprinkled over salads, or served alongside fish. Using a shredded version of the high-quality kelp called makombu makes preparing it a snap. See the recipe for Makombu Tsukudani (Pickled Seaweed) ». Ingalls Photography

Kombu, an edible seaweed essential to Japanese cuisine, has a unique flavor-boosting power thanks to a high concentration of glutamate, the molecule responsible for the savory “fifth taste” we call umami. When paired with brown sugar and soy sauce, shredded ribbons of makombu, the highest grade of kombu, transform into an addictive, sweet-salty condiment that is delicious atop rice or noodles, in salads, alongside fish, or even enjoyed on its own as a light bar snack. Using a pre-shredded version makes preparing it a snap. This recipe first appeared in the tablet edition of our October 2014 issue with the story Spectacular Seaweed.

Makombu Tsukudani (Pickled Seaweed) Makombu Tsukudani (Pickled Seaweed)
In this recipe, shredded ribbons of _makombu_, transform into an addictive, sweet-salty condiment that is delicious on its own or paired with almost anything.
Yield: makes 4 Cups


  • 4 oz. shredded makombu
  • 1 12 cups dashi
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 12 tsp. shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder)
  • 13 cup packed light brown sugar


  1. Boil makombu and dashi in a 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in brown sugar; cook until dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes. Stir in soy sauce; cook until mixture is slightly dry, 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shichimi togarashi; let cool completely. Chill in an airtight container up to 10 days.