First Certified from Japan

Kombu, the “King of Seaweed”

Seaweed is becoming more widely known as a healthy food with fewer calories and richer in minerals. Kombu, however, not only it is delicious on its own, but it also possesses something that the other seaweeds cannot do; it is used to make Dashi (stock). This exclusive characteristic of Kombu is indispensable to Japanese cuisine, where Dashi is used as a base of many great dishes. Kombu is valued as a vital and rich ingredient, and once had been used as money during its millennial long history.

Dashi and Umami

Dashi is classified as a soup and cooking stock, and it forms the base for miso soup, noodle broth, and many kinds of simmering liquids. This liquid contains Umami extracted from ingredients such as dried Shiitake mushroom, bonito flakes and Kombu.
Umami is also known as the fifth taste, and it was discovered in the early 20th century by a Japanese scholar who focused on the fact that Japanese food had used Kombu for soup stock since ancient times. The scholar conducted research to understand the secret of the taste of Kombu stock. Previously there were only four basic tastes, but he discovered that Kombu possessed a taste that simply could not be categorized in any one of those four. This delightful taste, which is abundant in Kombu, was named Umami and has since become the fifth basic taste.
Kombu contains glutamic acids, which is the basis of Umami. Combine that with inosinic acids in bonito flakes, and guanylic acids in dried Shiitake mushrooms, you get a synergy of Umami, with each acid bringing out the best flavors in the others. The secret to great cooking lies in combining Umami.

Japan’s First Organic Kombu

In this long history of Kombu, MUSO newly obtained organic certification as Japan’s first ever. It is harvested in Hokkaido, the northern island, which historically nourishes the best quality Kombu.
It usually grows in a rocky area in the ocean, and the wild waves and abundant sunlight grows thick quality Kombu. It is harvested with a pole, by looping it around the Kombu and then pull out by the root. After the harvest, the Kombu is spread manually on the seashore and sun dried in order to extract the Umami.

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