Food Forum
Vol. 29 No. 3  October 2015




This recipe is vegetarian-friendly. Abura-age is used throughout Japanese cuisine in place of meat or fish to create a savory rich taste. While kombu is essential in making dashi soup stock, it can also be enjoyed in many other ways, as shown here.


Serves 3

407 kcal  Protein 9.0 g  Fat 4.0 g (per person)

Kombu water
  • 10 g / .35 oz. kombu for dashi stock
  • 1000 ml / 4 C soft mineral water
  • 1 1/2 C japonica rice
  • 400 ml / 1 2/3 C + 2-4 T* kombu water
  • 1 T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T sake
  • 1/4 of the kombu shreds, after making kombu water
  • 50 fresh shelled edamame, about 1/4-1/3 C
  • 1/2 sheet of thin abura-age deep-fried tofu, cut in half horizontally, then cut into thin strips
  • Walnuts, roughly chopped for garnish (optional)


  1. Lightly dampen kombu with water, then cut into thin shreds 2-2.5 cm / 1 in. long and 1-2 mm / .07 in. wide with kitchen shears.
  2. Place kombu in soft mineral water; allow to soak for at least 3 hours. Both the kombu shreds and this soaking water (kombu water) will be used in Step 4.
  3. Wash rice 30 minutes before cooking and drain in a colander.
  4. Put the washed rice, kombu water, soy sauce, salt and sake in a small (about 18-20 cm / 7-8 in. diameter), deep pot with a heavy bottom**. Mix gently, then spread kombu shreds, edamame and abura-age strips on top of the rice.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook over lower-medium heat. When steam coming out from the pot has almost ceased, turn off heat. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and gently mix the rice with all the ingredients. Serve garnished with chopped walnuts, if desired.

* Add an extra 2-4 T water, depending on how dry the rice is.
** A rice cooker may be used.

Note: Kombu water may be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Versatile and full of umami, kombu water may also be used as a soup stock base. Drained shredded kombu can be mixed with olive oil, vinegar and/or soy sauce to make a delicious sauce base or dressing for many dishes.

Kikkoman wishes to specially thank Mr. Kiyomitsu Kitajo of kombu wholesaler Tenma Osaka Kombu for the kombu water recipe.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml