Shiokombu is seasoned and dried thin strips of kombu. Eat it as an accompaniment with rice, mix it into stir-fries or omelets, or add to quick pickles and salads!
Shio Kombu (shio = salt, kombu = kombu kelp) is a Japanese food product made of kombu simmered with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. It’s a versatile and addicting ingredient.
Table of Contents
What Is Shio Kombu
Shio kombu is a food product consisting of kombu kelp seasoned with soy sauce and salt. You can use it as an umami booster, and is a great way to incorporate seaweed into your diet. Its history goes back to the Heian period (794-1185) when records show the Japanese simmering kombu in hishio (醤), a salty condiment and predecessor to soy sauce.
It was popularized during the Meiji era (1868-1912) when a dried foods store in Osaka began selling seasoned kombu.
What Does It Taste
It’s powerfully savory, salty, and sweet, much more than unseasoned kombu. A small pinch is highly flavorful, so a little goes a long way!
How To Use
Use it as a side dish for rice, as a garnish for ochazuke or noodles, mixed into rice or onigiri, and for seasoning steamed vegetables, stir-fries, and tamagoyaki. Many Japanese confectionery shops offer a pinch of shio kombu alongside anmitsu or oshiruko as a palate cleanser. The salty-savory flavor complements the sweetness; hence, it’s often paired.
Where To Buy
Find packages of shio kombu in the dried food aisle of Japanese and Asian grocery stores. You may also find it on Amazon.
How To Store
Store unopened packages at room temperature and avoid direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. Once opened, tightly seal the package and keep it in the pantry.
As a kombu product, it’s one of the best sources of glutamate. It also contains high levels of iodine, essential in various bodily functions, including metabolism, bone health, and immune response. It is also a great source of dietary fiber and contains several enzymes that can break down complex sugars in the stomach that are usually indigestible.
It’s also rich in minerals and vitamins such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and C, and copper and zinc trace minerals.
However, please consume it in moderation as it is highly seasoned.
Recipes Using Shio Kombu
- Salmon and Shio Kombu Onigiri 鮭と塩昆布のおにぎり