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

Seaweed is a crucial ingredient for Japanese cuisine. Especially, we Japanese often use Dashi soup stock taken from Kombu seaweed, or edible kelp, in various dishes, like miso soups, hot-pot dishes, and noodle soups.

Kombu is not only used to make a soup stock, but in Japan there are actually a variety of foods that are made from the seaweed.

If I give a representative example of such Japanese foods made with Kombu, what comes to mind right away 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. The processed food is made by boiling down Kombu seaweed with soy sauce. When cooked and dried, the soy sauce changes into a crystalline salt on the surface.

The salted kelp is known as a healthy food with umami and is rich in calcium and dietary fiber. It is somewhat salty, so we Japanese like to eat the seaweed strips with plain white rice in particular.


Specifically, we often use Shio Kombu as a Furikake, a main ingredient in dishes like Ochazuke, a pickle seasoning or for Onigiri and cooked rice.

Here are the 5 easy recipes using the salted kelp

As a Furikake rice seasoning

Shio Kombu Furikake

Furikake (ふりかけ)” refers to the rice seasoning consisting of flakes or small bits of foods. Many Japanese like eating steamed plain rice with Furikake.

Since Shio Kombu is salty and has plenty of umami, the kelp strips are often used as a Furikake in Japan. Just sprinkle the salted kelp over the rice and enjoy!

As a main ingredient for Ochazuke

Shio Kombu Ochazuke

Ochazuke (お茶漬け)” is a Japanese rice bowl dish consisting of steamed plain rice entirely soaked in green tea or soup. The rice bowl dish usually has a main ingredient.

In this case, Shio Kombu is the main ingredient. Sprinkle the salted kelp on the rice and pour hot Japanese green tea abundantly, and you can easily enjoy tasty Shio Kombu Ochazuke with umami of kelp.

As a main ingredient of Onigiri

Shio Kombu Onigiri

As you may know, “Onigiri (おにぎり)” refers to rice balls. Combine the salted kelp with plain white rice and shape the rice into balls, and you can easily enjoy tasty Shio Kombu Onigiri.

As a main ingredient of cooked rice

Boil 300g washed rice, 28g salted kelp, and 80g canned tuna without oil, in water, and you can easily make a delicious Japanese-style rice bowl dish.

As a pickle seasoning

As I wrote about it in the past article before, Shio Kombu is often used as a pickle seasoning in Japan. Thus, finally let me introduce an easy pickles recipe using the salted kelp.

Japanese-style pickles recipe using Shio Kombu (1 serving)
Ingredient Quantity
Shio Kombu ( 10 g
Cucumber about 50 g
  1. Cut cucumber into 2 mm wide
  2. Put the salted kelp and the cucumber pieces in a container with lid
  3. Shake the container 50 times, holding the lid with hands
  4. Ready to eat, enjoy!

Other than cucumber, you can make the Shio Kombu pickles using various kinds of vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage and radish.

Shio Kombu (Japanese Salted Kelp)


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. 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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