After collecting kombu kelp, they are exposed to the sun light to boost the content of glutamic acid also known as an umami factor. As they have been resting in the warehouse for many years, they are aged and we can more quickly extract Dashi. We cannot say which kombu kelp quality is better. However, Japanese cooks tend to use makombu kelp which is useful and tastes mild.
Kombu kelp (glutamic acid), dried bonito (inosinic acid) and dried shiitake mushroom (guanylic acid) are the Japan’s three major ingredients rich in umami factors.

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Head chef of Japanese cuisine of Tokyo Kaikan

Rishiri kombu kelp

A product of the farthest north of Hokkaido, Rebun Island and Rishiri Island. The Dashi has a delicate flavor and high transparency. It is ideal for broth soups. It is salty compared to makombu kelp.

Rausu kombu kelp

A product of Rausu town in the Shiretoko Peninsula. It tastes thick and rich. Also it is very aromatic. It is like the king of kombu kelps.

Hidaka kombu kelp (Mistuishi kombu kelp)

Hidaka kombu kelp is one of Mitsuishi kombu kelps and collected at the Cape Erimo and the coast of Hidaka region. It is rich in iodine, which is easily dissolved in water. Therefore the Dashi has less transparency. After making Dashi, they are often used for kombu kelp roll or simmered in soy sauce.

makombu kelp

It is collected in the south of Hokkaido, mainly in Hakodate. The meat is wide and thick. As it produces a lot of Dashi, it is very popular. It is used for thinly shredded kombu kelp products such as Oboro kombu kelp, Tororo kombu kelp and Shiroita kombu kelp which is the remaining yellow part of Oboro kombu kelp.

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