Laminalia japonica Kombu is deep-sea kelp that grows best in the clean, cool waters of the north. The best quality kombu grows very deep in ocean currents which are neither too strong nor too weak. High grade Japanese kombu is harvested from the cold northern sea off the island of Hokkaido. Kombu has thick wide leaves and grows to lengths of 5-10 meters.
The further north it grows the longer it is and the better the quality. High-quality kombu comes in long flat strips. It is very stiff when dried and has a uniform dark green color. Sometimes it is dappled with a natural white powder that is a result of glutamate, the most desirable part of the plant. Kombu contains alginic acid, which is what gives it such a favorable taste. Muso's kombu is of premium quality, sun dried and contains no additives.
Basic kombu preparation : 10g Kombu 5 pieces dried Shiitake 1 cup Water 1) Soak the kombu and shiitake in the water at least 30 minutes. 2) Bring the water to boil, removing kombu and shiitake just before boiling. * This is called Dashi. It is used for various Japanese dishes such as, miso soup, clear soup, broth for pasta, making sauces, cooking vegetables, etc. * Used kombu and shiitake in dashi can be eaten.