This one-pot sticky rice dish from chef Tadashi Ono combines sweet squid, spicy ginger, and shredded seaweed. It makes for a surprisingly satisfying, simple meal thanks to the complex layering of savory, spicy, and subtly sweet flavor. Andre Baranowski
Kombu—a variety of edible seaweed—has been an essential Japanese ingredient for more than a millenium. It has the remarkable effect of boosting the flavors of anything cooked in it, thanks to a large concentration of glutamate, the molecule responsible for the savory “fifth taste,” umami. Today it is most popular in dashi, an enhanced stock used in everything from braised meats to pickle brine, but it’s also great shredded and added to rice or vegetable dishes. Here, 6 great ways to use it. Read more about kombu »
Kombu and Squid Steamed Rice
This one-pot sticky rice dish from chef Tadashi Ono combines sweet squid, spicy ginger, and shredded seaweed. It makes for a surprisingly satisfying, simple meal thanks to the complex layering of savory, spicy, and subtly sweet flavor.
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) »
Dashi, an enhanced stock where flakes of dried skipjack tuna or dried shiitake mushrooms are steeped with kombu, an edible seaweed, is a Japanese staple; it’s used to build flavor in everything from simple soups to braised meats. In this version, the stock is prepared using shredded sheets of makombu (the highest grade of kombu) and bonito flakes, which are shaved from tuna fillets that have been boiled, smoked, and left to ferment and harden in the sun. It lends an incredible flavor boost to braised chicken, squash soup, pickled vegetables, or just about anything else you choose to cook with it. See the recipe for Ichiban Dashi (Kelp Stock) »