What do you do with leftover kombu?
Here are some quick ideas to help you use up that extra seaweed.
Kombu can be used in soups, stews, rice dishes, and more.
Plus, it’s a great source of iodine and other nutrients.
Check out these recipes that I’ve collected for inspiration.
Add it to a soup or stew for extra flavor
Adding kombu to a soup or stew gives it an extra umami punch.
You can strain it out before eating or just leave the seaweed in for some added fiber and nutrients.
To do this, simply cut the kombu into strips (if you used whole pieces), or cut it into smaller pieces if it didn’t all fit in your pot.
Then add as much as you’d like to your soup, and cook as usual.
Cook kombu with rice for a tasty side dish
You can also use kombu to cook rice with.
For this, I would recommend cutting the kombu into strips or small pieces.
If it is in large sheets, you can cut it up into long strips and roll them up before slicing into 1 cm (1/2 inch) slices.
Then simply cook as usual- add your rice and water to a pot and then add the kombu pieces.
Let it cook for about 20 minutes, and you’ll have tasty rice with a savory flavor.
Make dashi (soup stock) with the leftovers
If you want to make dashi but don’t want to buy any pre-packaged powdered dashi or instant dashi packets, then try using your leftover kombu.
Simply add a few strips or pieces of kombu to about 100 ml (1/3 cup) of water, and let it sit covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Then strain out the solids and you’ve got instant dashi.
This is also great because then you can use all parts of the kombu since you’d normally just chuck out the dried husk on the kombu.
Make dashi popsicles
Dashi is also great for making dashi ice cubes or popsicles.
Simply leave it in a mold and freeze until solid.
You can use this to add an extra flavor punch to a bowl of plain rice, miso soup (which you can make using the dashi), or even fruit smoothies.
Use it to make some vegan furikake
If you’ve ever had furikake, then you know why I love this idea.
Furikake is a dry seasoning that is usually made of seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and other ingredients.
It is sprinkled on rice or used as a condiment for many dishes.
To make some vegan furikake, all you need to do is toast about 1/2 cup of sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.
Then grind the seeds into crumbs using either a mortar and pestle or a food processor.
Add about 1/2 tsp each of salt, sugar, and seaweed powder (dried seaweed that has been ground into a fine powder).
You can find seaweed powder at most Asian grocery stores- just make sure that the only ingredient is dried seaweed.
If you want to add some extra flavor to your vegan furikake, you can add about 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and/or some shichimi togarashi (a Japanese 7-spice blend containing red pepper flakes).
Add the powder mixture to rice or other dishes for an extra savory flavor.
Use it as a condiment for sushi or other Japanese dishes
You can also use kombu as a condiment for sushi or other Japanese dishes.
You can cut it into thin strips and place it over mounds of rice, or crumble it up to sprinkle on top of your dish.
If you are using larger pieces of seaweed, you can roll them up before slicing.
This will help keep the seaweed together.
If you use the dried kombu, you can soak it in water to rehydrate it first- just make sure that you drain out the excess liquid before using.
Brew tea with leftovers kombu for a healthy drink
You can also brew kombu with hot water to make a healthy tea that is full of vitamins and minerals.
To do this, simply add the dried kombu to about 1 cup of water in a pot and let it come to a boil over high heat.
Then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes (or longer if you’d like a stronger tea).
Make sure that the kombu fully submerges in the liquid and it doesn’t boil- this will help preserve all of the nutrients.
Once it is done, strain out the pieces and you’ve got delicious seaweed tea.
You can also add dried pieces of kombu to your hot water when making regular green tea to give it an extra boost of flavor and nutrients.
You can also use the leftover cooked kombu in recipes that call for wakame or other seaweed.
Can I eat leftover kombu?
Yes- it’s safe to eat leftover kombu.
Just make sure that there is no “sliminess” (this usually means the seaweed has gone bad) and make sure that pieces of kombu don’t look like they are starting to dissolve.
Kombu is best eaten within a few days after purchasing but should be safe to eat for about 1-2 weeks after opening the package. (source)
How do I store leftovers kombu so they stay fresh?
To store leftover kombu, make sure that it is covered with water and airtight.
This will help prevent molding or bacterial growth.
You can also use saran wrap to cover the seaweed if you don’t have an airtight container on hand.
The best place to store kombu is in your refrigerator, where it should be good for a week or so.
If you plan on using the kombu after this, I recommend freezing it to make sure that molding doesn’t happen.
To freeze the seaweed, simply take out as much as you want and place it in an airtight container or plastic bag before placing it in your freezer.
It will last around 6 months in the freezer, but the exact time will depend on where you place it and how much is in there. (source)
What can I do if my kombu smells “fishy?”
If your kombu smells like fish, this means that it has gone bad.
It’s important to make sure that your seaweed doesn’t smell “fishy” because it can make dishes taste bad, too.
Just toss the kombu that smells “fishy” and try to find another package of good-smelling seaweed at your local grocery store.
Is there a way to extend the shelf life of my leftovers kombu?
Yes- there are a few different things you can do to help extend the shelf life of the remaining kombu.
First, make sure that your kombu is always covered with water when you store it in the refrigerator.
This will prevent bacteria growth and also keep the seaweed fresh for longer.
You can also add some vinegar to the water that you store the kombu in to help kill bacteria and prevent the seaweed from going bad as quickly.
This is especially helpful if you have been preparing a dish with your kombu and don’t plan on using it for a while- just make sure that the vinegar isn’t added right before you use the seaweed. (source)
Can I freeze leftovers cooked kombu?
Yes- you can freeze leftover cooked kombu.
Just make sure to use an airtight container or plastic bag to store it.
It should be good in the freezer for around 6 months as long as it is properly stored.
What are some cooking tips for leftovers kombu?
When using your remaining cooked kombu, you can add it to most dishes where you would normally use wakame or other forms of seaweed.
It’s a great way to add flavor and nutrients to your meals.
It can also be used in stir fry, soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, eggs, rice dishes, and more.
Some people even eat their leftover kombu plain.
What is the best way to reheat leftovers cooked kombu?
The best way to reheat leftover cooked kombu is in a simple dish with a little bit of water or broth.
You can make a soup by adding the seaweed and some onion, garlic, potatoes, and other veggies to your broth before heating it back up.
You can also make a stir-fry for easier cleanup by adding the leftover kombu to your veggies before cooking them with a little bit of oil.
Make sure not to add the seaweed until the very end, though, or else it will get mushy.
So there you have it- a few ways that you can use the leftover kombu from making dashi.
Kombu is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways.
I hope you’ll give some of these ideas a try.