Shio Kombu: How to Use Salted Kelp (5 Easy Recipes)

Seaweed is an indispensable part of Japanese cuisine; For instance, we often make Dashi stock from kombu or seaweed kelp and use it in various dishes, including miso soup, Nabemono hot pots, and noodle soups.

Not only do we prepare kombu to make soup stock, but Japanese food makers produce various products with edible kelp, and one of the representatives is Shio Kombu.

Shio Kombu (塩こんぶ)

Shio Kombu Salted Kelp

Shio Kombu (塩こんぶ) is a traditional Japanese food consisting of thin and short strips of salted kelp, as Shio (塩), also spelled as Sio, means salt in Japanese.

We make it by simmering down kombu/kelp with Shoyu or soy sauce, and after drying, the used sauce turns into crystalline salt on the surface.

The processed kelp packs plenty of umami, known as a healthy food rich in calcium and dietary fiber. But it is pretty salty, so we typically consume the shreds with plain white rice.


Specifically, we often use Shio Kombu as Furikake, the main ingredient in dishes like Ochazuke, a pickle seasoning, for Onigiri or cooked rice. And below are the five easy recipes using the kelp shreds.


Shio Kombu Furikake

For the unfamiliar, Furikake (ふりかけ) is a traditional Japanese condiment consisting of dry mini flakes or granules usually processed from various ingredients, such as meat, fish, seafood, and seaweed.

The main aim of Furikake is to make a warm bowl of white rice flavorful and tasty, so if you want to enjoy Shio Kombu as Furikake, sprinkle it over rice and eat them together.


Next, Ochazuke (お茶漬け) or Chazuke is a Japanese rice bowl dish where steamed plain rice is entirely soaked in green tea or soup and garnished with some savory or salty toppings.

In this case, Shio Kombu is the main topping. To make Shio Kombu Chazuke, sprinkle the salted kelp on a bowl of white rice and then pour in hot green tea until it covers the surface.


Shio Kombu Onigiri

As you know, Onigiri (おにぎり) is a Japanese comfort food consisting of a ball of rice. To make Shio Kombu Onigiri, mix the salted kelp strips evenly with rice and then shape a ball.

Tuna Rice

By boiling in water 300 g rinsed rice, 28 g Shio Kombu, and 80 g canned tuna (with the oil drained), you can easily make delicious tuna rice with a Japanese taste.

Vegetable Pickles

As I wrote in this article, we often use salted kelp as a pickling seasoning for fresh vegetables. And last, let me introduce an easy pickles recipe using Shio Kombu.

Ingredients Quantity
Shio Kombu 10 grams
Fresh cucumber 50 grams
  1. Cut the cucumber into 2 mm wide slices.
  2. Put the salted kelp and cucumbers together in a lidded container.
  3. Shake the container about 50 times, holding the lid with both hands.
  4. Now it’s ready to eat. Enjoy!

Incidentally, you can also use other vegetables for the Shio Kombu pickles, such as Chinese cabbage or daikon radish.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 塩昆布 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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