Sukonbu (Su Kombu): Vinegared Kelp Seaweed Snack
As you may know, seaweed is one of the essential ingredients for Japanese cuisine. Especially, wakame and kombu are species of edible seaweed often prepared in cooking in Japan.
For example, Japanese home cooks like to add the seaweed wakame to miso soup, and vegetable salads, while the edible kelp, kombu is typically used to make “Dashi (出汁)” soup stock.
Regarding kombu, the seaweed isn’t only used in cooking, but there are even snack foods made of it in Japan. Among those, one of the most popular snacks is “Sukonbu (酢こんぶ)”.
What is Sukonbu (Su Kombu)?
Actually, the name “Sukonbu (酢こんぶ)” is composed of 2 words, “Su (酢)” meaning vinegar in Japanese and “Kombu (こんぶ)”, so Su Kombu is a vinegared kelp seaweed snack that comes in sheet form.
Nonetheless, the seaweed snack sheet is not that vinegary and characterized by the distinctive umami taste that comes from the white particles on the surface.
Nakano Miyako Kombu (中野 都こんぶ)
Since Sukonbu is a classic seaweed snack that has long been loved by us Japanese, it comes in several brands, among which Nakano Miyako Kombu, released in 1931 by “Nakano Bussan (中野物産)”, is the quintessential Sukonbu snack that should be introduced.
In addition to brewed vinegar, the Nakano’s Sukonbu, Miyako Kombu is flavored with bonito extract, fermented seasonings, and sweeteners, and its white flavoring powder coating on the surface is called “Magical powder”, for it is slightly acidic and umami-rich.
Unlike “Oshaburi Kombu (おしゃぶり昆布)“, the texture of the Miyako Kombu kelp snack is soft and tender so that you can effortlessly tear the sheet using both hands.
Where to Buy
Nakano Miyako Kombu is the most famous Sukonbu product in Japan, so the kelp seaweed snack is not only available in most supermarkets in Japan, but it can also be bought on some online shopping sites outside of Japan.