Dashi Konbu - Uneno Rishiri
Wild, hand-harvested, sundried, and slow-fermented. Uneno Rishiri Konbu comes from the cold waters of Rishiri Island, off of Hokkaido, in the farthest north ...
Wild, hand-harvested, sundried, and slow-fermented.
Uneno Rishiri Konbu comes from the cold waters of Rishiri Island, off of Hokkaido, in the farthest north of Japan. It is hand-harvested and sun-dried, and then delicately aged. It is delicately flavorful.
This type of delicate and elegant konbu brings out the finest flavors of the ingredients you cook with, without overpowering them. It has wonderfully subtle umami and is especially good for cooking Kyoto-style cuisine. We think Uneno Rishiri Konbu works particularly well in beautiful, clear dashi-based soups; for poaching or simmering; or in delicate dishes like chawanmushi.
After opening, please store the konbu in a dry environment. In a ziplock bag or Tupperware is fine. If white powder appears on it, don't worry, that's just umami crystals!
This is without a doubt, in the class of "really really good" konbu. Like, some of the best konbu.
What makes konbu "really really good"?
The best konbu is wild harvested. Some mass-produced konbu comes from aquaculture farms in Japan and China. Japan's finest konbu is always hand-harvested. Part of this hand-harvesting involves the konbu producers choosing the finest leaves.
The konbu is then cut into smaller pieces and laid out to dry in the sun, the same day it is harvested. Once it dries in the sun, it gets wrapped in cloth and is moved to special warehouses to be aged for at least a year. This aging is a careful and delicate process, much like aging wine. Environmental care in humidity and temperature needs to be taken. During this process, natural fermentation takes place within the konbu, curing and preserving it.
The best konbu is considered to come from northern Japan, and more particularly from all around the northern island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido's seas are considered to beJapan's konbu "garden". And around Hokkaido, there are even specific climatic pockets that are known for having the best-of-the-best seaweed. (Rishiri Island is one of those areas.) Kinda like the special zones in wine grape growing. If Hokkaido is like Burgundy, then Rishiri is maybe like Gevry Chambertin.