Saturday, February 15, 2014

Don't Hate Me Because My Kombu Chips Are Beautiful

Kombu is a seaweed, mostly used in Japanese cooking as an ingredient in soup stock (dashi), because of its amazing flavor-enhancing qualities. It is loaded with glutamic salts, basically MSG without the gross headaches or health risks, and so makes food taste better, and makes beans more tender and digestible. It's good for you too; a potent source of iodine, and a good source of iron and calcium. 

Here's a nice piece from the Kitchn about kombu as a handy pantry item. 

Kombu also, as it turns out, makes the most delicious chips you've ever eaten. All you have to do is heat some oil in a pan and drop in squares of kombu (I use scissors to cut them). They cook almost instantly, changing from leathery and inedible to crispy and delectable in a minute or less. Watch this video to see their dramatic transformation!

kombu chips a video by lovesmiths on Flickr.

Kombu Chips
Serves 2 as a snack

Approximately 4 strips kombu, cut into 1 or 2-inch pieces
Coconut oil for frying

Heat oil until very hot and moving around but not smoking.

Add kombu chips and cook for about a minute until they expand and bubble or curl. See video.

Remove with a slotted spoon or chopsticks and drain on paper.