Kombu Creations and Class

  • Learn about the five basic tastes, the relation between tastes and the representative chemicals that bring out the flavor in foods, which daily diets include umami components, and how to enhance the umami flavor.
  • Experience comparison tasting tests of several kinds of Dashi, soup stock which is essential for Japanese cuisine, and learn about washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) to explore why Dashi is the key of Japanese cuisine.
  • This forum will give you hands on experience making dashi from kombu from Japan, where it is typically grown on ropes in the cold seas.
  • Sunday, March 1, 2020 2:00pm-3:30pm at RESOBOX in the East Village at 91 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003 (Map) Event Fee: $15


Kombu belongs to the brown kelp family. It contains fucoidan, a substance that researchers have been studying as a treatment for kidney diseases and disorders for decades.

It also has been studied for rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer prevention, and is a great thing to add to beans to help break down sugars such as raffinose that can be very hard for humans to digest.

Kombu is a nutritional powerhouse that should be included in everyone’s diet, if only for the glutamates, and of course their digestive properties. But you really have to know how to use it correctly.

Kombu is well-known as an essential raw material for making a soup stock called Dashi for Japanese cuisine. It is significantly rich in umami components, such as glutamate. The umami taste can be enhanced by 7 times with the other umami components from meat or fishes.

This is called “umami synergy” and is used in a lot of cuisine around the world. In Japan, dashi with its enhanced umami is used for many dishes, including miso soup, nabe (Japanese style hot pot), simmered dishes, pickles and salads.

This presentation is led by Shunsuke Kondo. Shunsuke-san is an experienced chemist who graduated with a master’s degree in chemistry. He’s working with RESOBOX and culturesgroup for this collaborative event.

Okui Kaiseido Co., Ltd. will provide the konbu. This company is one of the oldest – founded in 1871 – and most famous Kombu makers in Japan.

Taste Comparing Tests:

Try tasting the enhanced flavor of umami in this event and enjoy several Dashi made from different kinds of Kombu!

・Dashi from only Kombu
・Dashi from only dried bonito
・Dashi from Kombu and dried bonito (called “Awase Dashi”)
・Awase Dashi with salt
・Awase Dashi with miso
・Dashi from several kinds of Kombu
・Seasoned Dashi, “HONDASHI” (containing MSG)

Attendees will have the option of trying a cup (about 50-100mL) of Seasoned Dashi (Hondashi which contains MSG) but only as a tasting comparison.

The other dashis will not have any MSG in them and will be made of natural ingredients (please see the full list above).

Of course, there is no need for participants to try that specific dashi and they will be informed if they would like to opt-out of trying it.

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