Kombu Tsukudani

As someone who is Japanese-American, and makes Japanese food often, I make dashi on a fairly regular basis.

I love dashi.

I love using dashi.

I hate that I always end up using the kombu once (mayyybe twice) and then throw it away.

It seems like such a waste for a perfectly good product!

kombu tsukudani

So finally, this last time I- er… Shrimpy made dashi, I decided to figure out how I could make use of the leftover kombu.

I happened upon this kombu tsukudani recipe from Just One Cookbook It makes use of used kombu, and is exactly the sort of thing we’d enjoy with rice. Plus it’s easy to make, and if you’re cooking a lot of Japanese food, you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand!

kombu tsukudani while simmering

Let’s make this happen.

Step one, use some dried kombu to make dashi! Now you have used kombu. Don’t throw it away.

Julienne your kombu into little strips, and put that in a pot. You can absolutely use the pot you made your dashi in.

Add a cup of water (or dashi, if your main recipe won’t be using everything we made!)

A tablespoon of cooking sake.

One tablespoon of mirin.

A teaspoon of rice vinegar – this will make your kombu more tender.

Two tablespoons of shoyu, Japanese soy sauce, for flavor and umami.

A teaspoon of sugar.

Half a teaspoon of katsuobushi (although I didn’t add this, since I used dashi for the liquid).

Lastly, we’ll seed and slice a dried chili pepper, and toss that in to add just a hint of spice.

kombu tsukudani

Bring that all to a boil, then simmer it until just about all of the liquid is evaporated. This should take about 20 – 25 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve as a side dish with rice and fish, tofu, or any other type of protein!

kombu tsukudani

Kombu Tsukudani

from Just One Cookbook

  • 2 oz leftover kombu from making dashi
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
  • 1 cup water (or dashi)
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar (add more if you prefer the sweet taste)
  • 1/2 tsp katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut the kombu into thin strips.
  2. Remove the seeds from the dried red chili pepper and cut the pepper into thin rounds.
  3. Add all the ingredients except the sesame seeds to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Cook on low heat until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 20-25 minutes. If kombu is still not tender, add additional water and continue to cook.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

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