Tuesday, September 27, 2016


One of the places we are going to next month on our Japan tour is a  konbu store in Hokkaido called Konbu-Kan. We went there last year too, but I was totally unprepared and ended up not really getting anything worthwhile. I bought some konbu salt, konbu tea, konbu candy and maybe one package of dashi konbu for Wendell. 

I decided to study up a bit on the different konbu varieties.  I've ended up focusing on trying to find a soft-version konbu for nishime and konbu maki. A coworker who is originally from Okinawa recommended Ne-konbu from Hokkaido. She said that if you cook any konbu long enough it will become soft, but the ne-konbu requires less cooking. 

I found the package below from Marukai.  The writing on the right with the red background says Hokkaido. The kanji 根 circled in green is "ne". It means "root" . . . so it's the root portion of the kelp.


My da-bomb-husband Wendell used it to make this nishime.  The konbu really was softer than usual. I liked it.

And it was even better the next day as leftover home lunch. 

I asked Wendell if the konbu pieces were big enough to make konbu maki. He said that there were a few pieces that were big enough, but mostly they were narrow.  

One of Didi's coworkers is from Hokkaido. She recommended hidaka 日高 konbu.   Sure enough, Cook Tokyo website says this:  

Hidaka Konbu, another good all-rounder for both making dashi and eating, as it softens quickly when simmered. It is blackish green in colour, longer and thinner than other konbu and produces a light greenish-yellow dashi. Because its edges are not as ruffled as the others it is often used for rolling or wrapping foods.

Interesting  . . .  no?  Another interesting thing . . . you know how Japanese kanji always has two different readings just to make it hard for us to learn?  Well, 根 (ne) is also read "kon" and大根 is "dai-kon" . . . BIG ROOT!  Cool, right? No? Okay, never mind.

Here's the recipe that Wendell used to make the nishime.


mmiissee said...

Looooks so onolicious.
I love konbu.

jenny said...

Gosh I always learn so much from your blog Jalna! Thank you for sharing all the tips and of course the recipe cause you know we gonna ask. :)

Honolulu Aunty said...

I wish I was your neighbor.

Susan said...

Wow, this post was another trip down memory lane for me. My mom cooks
this soup where she ties konbu like that and that pkg of konbu looks so familiar but I never paid attention
when I was a kid. I actually googled a nishime recipe from Just One Cookbook this week after seeing it online somewhere. I'm missing my mom now : (

Kay said...

We went to Konbu Kan too and mom went hog wild buying konbu. However she goofed and bought too much dashi konbu when she should have stuck to nishime konbu. Ah well. Wendell's nishime looks fabulous!

Leslie's pics said...

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu konbu!!! yummmmm!!

jalna said...

I liked this one a lot, Mmiissee.

You're welcome, Jenny!

Funny, Aunty!

Awww . . . Susan.

It's kinda overwhelming at that store, Kay.

LOL, Les.

Anonymous said...

I copied and pasted this to my tablet so I can find konbu-the right kind! Thanks! I've been looking through your old post to find stuff to buy since I cannot read or speak Japanese. At least you study!

We really should go to Japan together....I research where and how, you research all the stuff to buy. Perfect match! Even thought I keep looking at those flash cards you gave me once, it don't sink in. I even bought those kanji books you blogged about and only went through first few pages. I have 3 different translator apps on my tablet and phone too.

OMG, only 2 more weeks!!!!! I'm already drooling thinking of all the stuff I want to eat.


jalna said...

I knoooow, V!! Pretty soon already!! It takes awhile for stuff to sink in for me too. I forget too fast. I would love to go with you someday. You totally know how that's why.

K and S said...

so good that you are studying your kanji:)

jalna said...

I try, Kat, but I forget too much.