Its shape is wider and thicker than the others. It is used for cooking like shio-kombu and tsuo and tsukudani-kombu.
It is also favored for making special forms of kombu by hand and presented at religious events as special offerings.
Kombu introduced here comes from Donan district coasts, south of Hokkaido Island, area renowned for its high quality and highly prized ma kombu.
Our recommendation for making your own dashi :
Soak kombu for 24 hours in cold water to soften it.
First dashi, called Ichiban dashi, is an almost pure umami broth. Synergy between kombu and katsuobushi produces and enhances clear umami taste.
Made from the finest ingredients, it has a rich golden color and no astringency as it is usually the case with dashi made from other ingredients. Clear and subtle aroma of ichiban dashi is ideal for making broths. Ichiban dashi itself is delicious, but it allows you to bring out the flavor of other foods without paying too much attention to other ingredients.
For a good dashi :
♦ 1800 ml of fresh water
♦ 30 to 40g of ma kombu
♦ 50g of katsuobushi (blood line must be removed)
1. Put the water and kombu in a large pot and heat over low heat
2. Slowly increase temperature to 60°C and simmer for 1 hour at this temperature to bring out maximum umami of the kombu.
3. Remove kombu and increase temperature to 85°C over high heat. When temperature reaches 85°C, add katsuobushi flakes so that they soak up the water completely.
4. After waiting about 10 seconds, strain liquid through a fine-mesh cloth and let it drain naturally without squeezing katsuobushi flakes.
Kombu contains glutamic acid, a type of amino acid with UMAMI. Glutamic acid umami can be enhanced by aging Kombu and it also increases synergistically by combining it with inosine acid included in dried bonito. Kombu is also rich in dietary fiber, calcium and iodine. Its alkaline nature helps maintain a balance with acidic foods such as meat and fish.