Kombu Ame: Classic Japanese Kelp Seaweed Candy Cubes
Kombu, or kelp, is an edible seaweed commonly used to make soup stock or Dashi in Japan, which is known as an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Not only do we prepare kombu as a food ingredient in daily life, but there even exist snacks and candies that are made from the seaweed in Japan.
As examples, Nakano Miyako Kombu is a quintessential example of such kelp snacks, while when I think of sweet Japanese kelp treats, what comes to my mind right away is what I introduce here “Kombu Ame (こんぶ飴)”.
Kombu Ame (こんぶ飴)
As the name Kombu Ame indicates, the primary ingredient of the Japanese candy is the seaweed kelp, and Kombu Ame is a long time favorite of us Japanese that is available in many supermarkets. By the way, “Ame (飴)” is the Japanese word mainly for hard candy.
As you can see in the photo, the Japanese seaweed candy, Kombu Ame is usually shaped like a cube and has a blackish color that comes from its first ingredient, kombu or kelp. Featuring natural umami from kombu, it has a gentle sweetness and a soft chewy texture similar to caramel cubes.
According to the ingredient list on the back of the package, the Japanese seaweed candy, Kombu Ame mainly consists of the seaweed kombu, starch, and rice powder, and is flavored with sugar, starch syrup, brown sugar, and salt.
I think seaweed candies are unique to Japan, so it might be unappetizing to you, but Kombu Ame is really easy to eat with natural umami taste and gentle sweetness. In fact, since the classic Japanese candy is not only healthy but also tastes great, it is admittedly one of the best seaweed candies in Japan.