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 10g of kelp and 1000g of water to a boil. Add 10g 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.