Dried (Dashi) Kombu
Kombu (also spelled konbu) is a name that refers to several edible kelp seaweeds from the family Laminariaceae, most commonly used in Japan and Korea. This pantry article deals with dried kombu, commonly used to prepare the essential Japanese stock called dashi. This product is generally sold as very large leaves in plastic packages.
Kombu varieties can vary in flavour, texture, and appearance. Some of these varieties are detailed below, but most are not readily encountered outside of Japan. The most common kombu type (usually labeled dashi kombu) is an all-purpose variety, and can safely be used basically anywhere that kombu is called for.
Kombu is a Japanese word (昆布) and is generally the only term used in English; the term kelp is broader and applies to many different seaweeds. Kombu may also be called dashima (다시마 – Korean) or haidai (海帶 – Mandarin Chinese).
Kombu should not be confused with any other of the other edible seaweeds like nori, wakame, or laver.