Foodie Friday | Kombu
Never heard of Kombu? Well you are seriously missing out. Kombu is a sea vegetable that is dense in vitamins and nutrients, especially iodine. Read anything about it and you'll see that it has a lot of really wonderful health benefits...but what exactly do you do with it??
Well, in Asian countries it's used as a base to many soups and dishes to add flavor. You can buy it in a variety of forms but probably the easiest is dried. It will look like the photo below...long, hard strips covered in a slight white powdery substance (thought to add flavor that comes about during the drying process).
The main reason we add it to just about anything we cook in our home is because it is a wonderful digestive aid. It is known to alleviate gas, indigestion and constipation. We actually keep ours in a mortar and pestle it to death to break it up into fine pieces that we can just pinch into a dish we're cooking. It does have a slight fishy taste, which doesn't go with most of the dishes we prepare so breaking it up so finely avoids any interference with the overall taste. We leave larger pieces for when we are making brothy soups.
We add it to pretty much anything that we are applying heat to that also has a liquid base. Once it cooks for a while it becomes soft, a little rubbery and grows in size, hence why we break it up so finely. We also steam it with rice, which adds flavor as well as steeps the rice in all the yummy nutrients.
Don't be scared. :) Just try it.