Dried Sea Kelp (Dashima)
Dried sea kelp (dasima) or kombu in Japanese, is an important soup stock base or a natural flavor enhancer in Korean cooking. See my 5 Korean soup stock recipes for ideas.
Dashima comes in huge sheets in a package. You can find it easily in many Korean or other Asian grocery stores. It is long and wide flat sheet with white powder on the surface.
How to store dried sea kelp (dashima)
Cut the sheet of large dashima into desired sizes. I cut them into various sizes depending on the volume of stock I make. Gather them in an air-tight container and store in a cool, dry, and dark place – A dark kitchen pantry is ideal place.
What size sea kelp to use for making a stock?
My general rule for the size of sea kelp I need for making stock is;
A piece of sea kelp, that is equal to the size of your hand (finger stretched), is good for making 4 cups of stock volume. Need more volume of stock? Use bigger size or add more sea kelp. Anything less, use smaller size sea kelp.
2 ways of making sea kelp stock
1. Combine 4 cups of water in a container and add the sea kelp. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight. You will see the water turning yellow – that’s a good sign! You can strain the stock as you need and refill the container with more water. Use the stock again as you refill with more water until the water doesn’t turn yellow any more. Then discard the sea kelp.
2. Combine 4 cups of water and a piece of sea kelp in a pot and bring it to boil. When the water starts to boil, remove the sea kelp and discard. If you simmer the sea kelp too long, it will slowly disintegrate and makes the stock (or sauce) slimy.
Sea kelp is not only used as a soup stock, it is also used to add umami flavor to many dishes.