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

Seaweed is an indispensable part of Japanese cuisine.

Especially, we Japanese often use dashi soup stock made from kombu or seaweed kelp in various dishes, which include miso soups, Nabemono hot-pots, and noodle soups.

Kombu is not only prepared to make stock but in Japan, a variety of foods are actually made from the seaweed, and one of the representatives is “Shio Kombu (塩こんぶ)”.

Shio Kombu (塩こんぶ)

Shio Kombu Salted Kelp

Shio Kombu is a traditional Japanese food consisting of thin strips of salted kelp, as “Shio (塩)” means salt in Japanese.

It is made by simmering down kombu or kelp with Shoyu or soy sauce. Once the seaweed is cooked and dried, the sauce used changes into crystalline salt on the surface.

Known as healthy food, Shio Kombu is packed with umami and rich in calcium and dietary fiber. But it is pretty salty, so we Japanese like to eat these seaweed shreds with plain white rice in particular.

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 5 easy recipes using these kelp shreds.

Shio Kombu Furikake

Shio Kombu Furikake

For the unfamiliar, “Furikake (ふりかけ)” is a traditional Japanese rice condiment. It is made from ingredients, such as meat, fish, seafood, seaweed, and eggs, processed into granules or dry mini flakes.

Furikake is usually sprinkled over a warm bowl of white rice to make it flavorful and delicious.

So if you want to use Shio Kombu as Furikake, what you do is just sprinkle it over rice and eat them together.

Shio Kombu Ochazuke

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

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

Shio Kombu Onigiri

Shio Kombu Onigiri

As you know, “Onigiri (おにぎり)” is made of rice packed together in a ball. To make Shio Kombu Onigiri, before shaping the rice into a ball, simply mix it evenly with the kelp shreds.

Shio Kombu Tuna Rice

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

Vegetable Pickles using Shio Kombu

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

Ingredient Quantity
Shio Kombu 10 grams
Fresh cucumber about 50 grams
  1. Cut the cucumber into 2 mm wide slices
  2. Put the salted kelp and cucumber together in a lidded container
  3. Shake the container about 50 times, holding the lid using both hands
  4. Ready to eat, Enjoy!

By the way, you can also make the Shio Kombu pickles using vegetables other than cucumbers, such as Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, or the like.


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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