Kombu, also known as kelp, is an edible seaweed that is prized for its deep flavor. Kelp adds a deep savoriness and mineral flavor to foods due to its high concentration of natural glutamic acids. It is a fundamental part of Japanese cooking and comprises one of the main elements of dashi: a broth base that is the foundation for nearly all Japanese foods. Kombu is also used extensively in curing meats and fish through a process called kobujime: soaked kelp is wrapped around foods and aged to enhance their natural flavors. Ma-kombu is an exceptional variant of this fragrant kelp.
Uses: Make a simple dashi by bringing 10 grams of kelp and 1000 grams of water to a boil. Add 10 grams of katsuobushi and let steep off the heat for 60 seconds and then strain. The solids can be discarded or repurposed for another use such as homemade furikake.