Kombu Edible Kelp

March 15, 2013 by  

Kombu Edible Kelp, Kombu ( is edible kelp from the family Laminariaceae widely eaten in East Asia. extensively cultivated on ropes in the seas of Japan and Korea. Over 90% of Japanese kombu is cultivated, mostly in Hokkaidō, but also as far south as the Seto Inland Sea with the development of cultivation technology today.

In Old Japanese, edible seaweed was generically called “me” (cf. wakame, arame) and the kanji such as “軍布”, æµ·è—» or “和布” were applied to transcribe the word. Especially, kombu was called hirome (from hiroi, wide) or ebisume (from ebisu). Sometime thereafter the names konfu and kofu appeared respectively in two editions of Iroha Jirui Shō in 12-13th century.

Over the origin of the name kombu various theories has been claimed to date, and the following two are dominant today.

One is that it originated from the On’yomi (Sino-Japanese reading) of the Chinese name 昆布 (kÅ«nbù). Li Shizhen wrote the following in his Bencao Gangmu (1596).

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