Tororo Kombu: How to Use Dried Kelp Shavings
Have you ever heard of “Tororo Kombu (とろろ昆布: meaning grated yam kelp)” or eaten Japanese dishes with it?
Tororo Kombu (とろろ昆布)
Tororo Kombu, also known as “Kezuri Kombu (削りこんぶ: shaved kelp)”, is a Japanese food made by thinly shaving the kombu block that’s been softened in vinegar and dried.
The dry, long, thin strips of seaweed flakes become mushy like grated yam once you pour hot water onto them, which is why it is called Tororo Kombu.
The majority of the products are sold unseasoned in Japan, and they are used in various ways.
In many cases, we add some Tororo Kombu shavings to dishes and season them with soy sauce.
Are you curious about the specific usage of Tororo Kombu? Here, let me introduce how we Japanese use it for those who answer yes to this question.
Tororo Kombu is most commonly used as the main ingredient in soup dishes, including miso soup and consommé soup.
The making is basically very straightforward like this; First, put some dried kelp shavings in a bowl. Then pour boiling water and season it with soy sauce. That’s it.
This is the easiest way to make Tororo Kombu soup. But the dish has a great potential to become more delicious, so let’s add some finishing touch to the bowl.
For example, we often garnish the soup with toppings such as Umeboshi, Katsuobushi bonito shavings, dried shrimps, Shirasuboshi whitebait, chopped green onions/myoga, or Fu wheat gluten bread.
In addition, some Japanese like to sprinkle Ajinomoto powder (Amazon.com) on it.
Tororo Kombu Onigiri
We sometimes use the kelp shavings for covering Onigiri rice balls instead of nori sheets.
Tororo Kombu Onigiri has another version made from white rice mixed with the flakes.
Tororo Kombu is often used as a topping. It works well with a wide range of dishes, including ramen, udon, soba, vegetable salad, simmered dish, tofu, and even natto.
For example, Hiyayakko cold tofu tastes much better if you put some dried kelp shavings on top and season it with ponzu sauce.