Sukonbu (Su Kombu) : Classic Vinegary Japanese Kelp Seaweed Snacks

Unlike most dishes of other countries, seaweed is an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Especially, wakame and kombu are the seaweed often prepared for various kinds of dishes in Japan. For example, we Japanese like to add wakame to miso soup or salads in particular, while we commonly use kombu, also known as kelp, for taking soup stock, or “Dashi (出汁)“.

Speaking of kombu (kelp), it isn’t used only in cooking, but there also exist even snack foods made from the seaweed in Japan. Among those Japanese kelp seaweed snacks, I think the most famous one is “Sukonbu (酢こんぶ)”.

What type of Japanese snack is Sukonbu (Su Kombu)?

 Nakano Miyako Kombu (中野 都こんぶ)

Actually, the snack name “Sukonbu (酢こんぶ)” is composed of 2 Japanese words, “Su Kombu”. The former “Su (酢)” means “vinegar” in Japanese, so Sukonbu are the kombu seaweed snacks flavored mainly with vinegar. However, the Japanese snack is not so vinegary in taste but features having umami that comes from white powder coated on the surface.

Nakano Miyako Kombu (中野 都こんぶ)

Sukonbu is a classic seaweed snack that has been widely enjoyed by Japanese people for a long time, so there are some Sukonbu brands well-known in Japan. Even among those, Nakano Miyako Kombu is the quintessential Sukonbu snack that must be introduced, which was released in 1931 by Nakano Bussan (中野物産).

In addition to brewed vinegar, Nakano Miyako Kombu (Amazon.com) is flavored with bonito extract, fermented seasonings, and sweeteners. As I wrote above and as the above photo shows, the Nakano’s Sukonbu snack features having white particles of flavoring called “Magical powder” on the surface, which is slightly sour with lots of umami. On the other hand, unlike “Oshaburi Kombu (おしゃぶり昆布)“, the kombu snack itself is soft so that you can tear it up easily.

From the above, I think Nakano Miyako Kombu is an unique Japanese seaweed snack with a taste and texture that you may not have experienced.

Where to buy the Nakano’s Su-kombu seaweed snack

Since Nakano Miyako Kombu is the Japan’s best-selling and most famous Sukonbu snack, it is relatively easy to obtain. Specifically, not only do many grocery stores in Japan handle it, but you can also buy it on some online shopping sites outside of Japan.

Nakano Miyako Kombu Vinegared Kelp
Amazon.com

Tomo

Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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