Hi Japan lovers!
I am Yuichi, a local English speaking guide in Japan.
I live in Hokkaido, northern island of Japan and have guests from all over the world.
Hokkaido is very rich for seeweeds.
Seaweed contains not only lots of minerarls and nutrition but also they are healthy and good for preventing diseeseas.
Their effects to our health are scientifically proved.
They are good for anti-aging, anti-cancer, lifestyle-related diseses and also clean our stomach, exelarate metabolisim.
Eating seaweeds is one of the secret of Japanese long life.
We have have a culture of seaweed and been used them since over 3,000 yaers ago as a base of Japanese broth, food and sometimes medicines.
There are many kinds of seaweed and recipes how to use them in Japan.
I will introduce some of seaweeds and proceced ones in Japan today, especially harvested and produced in Hokkaido!
- 昆布( Konbu )
- Other kinds of Seaweed in Japan
- Other Konbu products which I recommend in Hokkaido
昆布( Konbu )
Hokkaido is well-known for its hight quality konbu in Japan.
Around 95 % of konbu is harvested in Hokkaido and there are 45 species of Kelp in Japan.
There are big brand of Konbu such as 利尻 ( Rishiri ) , 羅臼 ( Rausu ), 日高 ( Hidaka ) .
There brands are very popular among professional Japanese cheves and they come to Hokkaido to see their qualities and purchase.
Hokkaido Konbu has rich flavor and professionals choose differents brands for their cuisins.
For expample, they may use Rishiri kelp for stew, Rausu for clear Japanese broth.
Dried kelp is one of the most popular souviner in Hokkaido.
Here are some examples how to use Hokkaido kelp.
Rausu Konbu is called as a king of Kelp in the world and the most expensive kelp in Japan.
Rausu is the name of the town which is localted in north eastern Hokkaido.
The area is included in Shiretoko national park.
Rausu konbu has very rich flavor and it's said it is ideal for cooking 出汁（Dashi ) , Japanese broth.
Japanese Dashi broth is made of dried kelp, dried sardines and bonito flakes.
Rausu kelp dashi is rich but not clear so it's good for 煮物(Nimono ) , Japanese stewed dishes and 鍋料理(Nabe ryori ) , hot pot dishes.
To purchase Rausu Konbu check URL below.
Rishiri kelp has delicate sweet and slight salty flavor. This kelp is also good for cooking Japanese Dashi broth.
It has delicate flavor and soup becomes clear so it's good for Japanese お吸い物 ( Osuimono ) , clear soup and also Kaiseki dishes in Kyoto.
Kaiseki style is originally from Kyoto and set menu wichi has many kinds of deshes with different cooking style.
To activate originall flavor of ingredients is very important concept of Kaiseki style so Rishiri kelp is ideal for Kaiseki because the flavor is delicate and it does not offend the flavor of ingredients.
Rishiri is the name of island wich is located at northern small isolated island of Hokkaido.
To purchase Rishiri Konbu check URL below.
Hidaka Konbu is all-rounder and good for eating and soup.
Konbu takes time to make it soft, normally but this kelp is easier than other kelps so good for eating.
You can use this kelp to make good soup and also use same kelp as ingredients of Nimono and hot pot dishes.
To purchase Hidaka Konbu check URL below.
Other kinds of Seaweed in Japan
There are around 1,500 species of seaweeds grown around the islands of Japan and around 100 of them are adible.
Let me introduce some of popular ones.
わかめ ( Wakame )
Wakame is I think the most pupular one for eveyone in Japan.
They are dried and sold at supermarkets, convenience stores, everywhere.
Wakame is not necessary to cook.
You just soak them in water and they expand. You can put them for Miso soup, and put some on vegetable salad.
You can also stew with other ingredients.
If you have been to Japan and tried traditional Japanese sweets you may know this.
It's half-tranparent jelly-like food and it has a unique texture but no flavor.
Kanten is used for あんみつ ( Look at the picuture above ) .
Other Konbu products which I recommend in Hokkaido
If you come to Hokkaido and consider about souviners to bring back.
Konbu products is one of the good options.
They are not heavy and big.
I will introduce my famorite products in Hokkaido.
とろろ昆布（Tororo Konbu )
Tororo Konbu is dried shaved kelp and looks like cotton. Texture is smoothy and good for Japanese food.
Rice ball can be rapped with Tororo kelp and Tororo Konbu is also good for soup.
You can also put some on vegetable salad.
Check here to purchase .
利尻こんぶラーメン (Rishiri Konbu ramen noodle )
This noodle is delicious originally from Rishiri island in Hokkaido, where Rishiri kelp is harvested.
Rishiri kelp powder is mixed with noodles and soup is very light and clear.
It's light but also you can feel richness of the soup and goode texture of noodles.
Check here to purchase.
Threre variety of kinds of snack Konbu in Hokkadio.
There are not fried and just dried so very healty!
It is crunchy and good to eat itself.
Dried kelps are sometimes mixed with beans, rice crackers and chips.
They are all good.
Check hare to purchase.
Konbu with chips
Dashi powder is very usuful among Japanese locals.
When we need Dashi soup we just prepare for boiled water and put dashi powder in it.
ほんだし( Hondashi ) is worldwidely famous.
Hokkaido has rich konbu dashi powder.
It's worth a try.
Check hare to purchase.
Also see my instagram that has a lot of local B-Class gourmet in Hokkaido