A member of the kelp family, kombu is a versatile pantry ingredient that provides dishes with umami flavor, nutrients, and minerals. Dried kombu can be used to make broth, added to beans to make them more digestible, and eaten in salads. Most kombu comes from Hokkaidō, Japan. It is also cultivated in Korea, where it is known as dashima, and China, where it is known as haidai. (Maine kelp is similar and can be substituted for kombu.
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