Vegetarian-friendly, full of vital nutrients, and packed with umami flavor, this traditional Japanese recipe is going to be your new favorite. A perfect side dish or appetizer, it’s easy and quick to make too! Adding Shio Kombu to basic healthy ingredients is the secret to this dish’s unique flavor and nourishing properties. You can also use this versatile ingredient to make many different kinds of easy tofu salads!
What is Shio Kombu?
Shio Kombu is very popular in Japan but is still not so well-known outside of the country. It is based on kombu kelp, a kind of seaweed with a leathery texture. This seaweed is boiled with umami-rich ingredients like soy sauce and mirin. The process both softens its texture and adds lots of flavors. Finally, the kombu is dusted with salt and dried in sheets before it is cut into small pieces. In Japan, people add Shio Kombu to a wide variety of dishes as a seasoning.
Shio Kombu is high in minerals like calcium and is also a great source of dietary fiber. Recent scientific studies have shown that the consumption of foods that are high in dietary fiber is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease. We highly recommend this Kurakon brand Shio Kombu, which has been made using a process that concentrates much delicious umami flavor in the Shio Kombu.
The Health Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is much more popular outside of Japan than Shio Kombu, but most people only think of it as an alternative to meat products. But authentic Japanese tofu is also a superfood that contains many health-promoting properties. Not only does it have a balanced amino acid profile, making it a “complete protein,” but it is also a source of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. Tofu is also full of antioxidants phytochemicals that are anti-inflammatory. It is a unique source of natural plant-estrogens that may lower rates of cancer, especially breast cancer.
- Make sure to drain water from tofu. Otherwise, the dish will be watery.
- You can wrap tofu in a paper towel and microwave it for about one and a half minutes if you want. This step will drain water from the tofu as well.
Shio Kombu & Tofu Salad
- 1 ½ Tbsp Shio Kombu
- 1 Tofu (Firm or Medium Firm)
- ¼ Cucumber
- ¼ Carrot
- Wrap tofu in a paper towel. Fill the plastic container of tofu with water and place it on top of the paper-wrapped tofu. Set it aside for a while to drain excess water from tofu.
- Thinly slice cucumber and thinly julienne carrot.
- In a small bowl, mash tofu with hands. Mix in cucumber and carrot. Season with shio kombu and enjoy!