Simmered kombu (kombu tsukudani)

In my vegan dashi recipe, I promised a recipe for the leftover kombu, so here it is! Today, I’m going to show you how to make simmered kombu (kombu tsukudani) and give a brief explanation on what tsukudani is.

You may not have tried, or even heard of, tsukudani before as it’s not very popular in Europe. However, in Japan, people make dashi all the time and want to avoid wastage as kombu is not cheap, so kombu tsukudani is a fairly common everyday dish.

Tsukudani commonly refers to seafood, meat, vegetables, or seaweed simmered in soy sauce, sugar and mirin. It’s usually eaten with steamed rice as a flavouring agent. Tsukudani has a very intense and salty flavour (approximately 1 tablespoon for one bowl of rice). It’s made salty enough not to go bad and preserves the kombu from spoiling in Japan’s humid climate.

K33Kitchen kombu Tsukudani

Cut the kombu into 1-2mm thin strips (the thinner the better). If the kombu strips are slimy, you can rinse them in hot water.

K33Kitchen kombu Tsukudani

Remove the seeds and finely mince the dried red chilli pepper.

K33Kitchen kombu Tsukudani

Add the kombu and the rest of the cook ingredients into a medium saucepan.

Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts to boil reduce the heat to low and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated. This should take around 20-25 minutes.

If the kombu is not tender enough, add more water and continue to cook.

K33Kitchen kombu Tsukudani

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

K33Kitchen kombu Tsukudani

You can keep the tsukudani in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks or seal it with the canning method* for months.

Simmered kombu is an excellent way to use up leftovers from dashi. It’s both sweet and savoury, and is a perfect flavouring agent to accompany a bowl of steamed rice. You can also add it to a rice ball or as a topping for donburi and ramen.

Let me know if you try out this recipe. You can leave a comment below, or take a picture, tag it with #k33_kitchen and share it on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, hope you enjoy my recipes!

K33Kitchen kombu TsukudaniK33Kitchen kombu Tsukudani

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Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 4

Prep.: 5 mins | Cook: 25 mins

Ingredients:

Cook

  • 50g soaked kombu*
  • 200ml dashi*
  • 1‭ ‬tbsp mirin
  • 1‭ ‬tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2‭ ‬tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2‭ ‬tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1‭ ‬tsp maple syrup
  • 1‭ ‬dried red chilli pepper

Garnish

  • 1/2 ‬tsp sesame seeds
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Instructions:
  1. Cut the kombu into 1-2mm thin strips. If the kombu strips are slimy, you can rinse them in hot water.
  2. Remove the seeds and finely mince the dried red chilli pepper.
  3. Add the kombu and the rest of the cook ingredients into a medium saucepan.
  4. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts to boil reduce the heat to low and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated. This should take around 20-25 minutes.
  5. If the kombu is not tender enough, add more water and continue to cook.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
  7. You can keep the tsukudani in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks or seal it with the canning method** for months.

* If you want to make this recipe from scratch, you need 15-20g dried kombu, soaked overnight. You can then use the soaked water as a replacement for dashi.

** Heat food in sealed jars until the food is hot enough to destroy spoilage organisms.

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