View Full Version : Kombu and soups

12th February 2002, 22:50
I just bought some kombu to make tea out of and use in soups but it is coated with a nasty tangy amino acid. I tried to wash it off with water but the tanginess was still there. Anyone know how I can wash it off?

And is there a place that has recipes for vegetarian soups and broth that can be obtained at a health or grocery store? Something like udon or soba noodles with celery and carrots. Miso soup is too expensive for me and too hard to make.

13th February 2002, 16:29
Most Japanese are I've spoken to are vehement in *not* aggresively washing kombu off, just gently wiping it with a damp towel to remove dirt. If the kombu is lending a bitter flavor to your soup, you've likely left it in the stock too long -- kombu is removed from the soup once it comes to a boil and the kombu rises to the surface -- it's then discarded.

Instant miso soup is available in Japanese grocery stores, and generally in health food stores -- quality and price vary widely, try a few and see which you like.

Lots of recipes on the web, but for a really simple and reasonably quick vegetarian stock in which to eat noodles, try simmering some dried shiitake mushrooms (also available in Japanese groceries and health food stores)in some water for about 30 minutes, strain to get out the grit (after simmering remove the 'shrooms and cut off and discard the tough stems, slice up the 'shrooms and toss 'em into the strained stock), season with some soy sauce and a little sugar to taste, and enjoy.

Sean M. Breheney
Pacific Grove, CA

13th February 2002, 17:07
I neglected to post the following URL in my previous post -- it points to a page of recipes for making various kinds of traditional dashi using kombu. While the recipes are not vegetarian per se, the page illustrates the method of using kombu.


Good luck.

Sean M. Breheney
Pacific Grove, CA