Kombu is an edible kelp used extensively in Japanese cooking to add flavor by contributing amino acids which are responsible for the savory “umami” taste. It can also added to the cooking water of beans and other legumes to improve digestibility.

Health considerations

Kombu is a source of iodine, calcium, and iron. Individuals with thyroid conditions should consult with physicians when including high-iodine foods in their diets. Dried kombu may be preserved with salt, contributing a high sodium content. See: Sodium.

May be found in

Dashi, soup stock, seasoned nori, miso soup, Japanese cooking, stews, salads, prepared dishes


Washington Post
Umami Information Center

Alternative Spellings and Names

Sodium, iron, iodine, calcium

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