Kombu no Tsukudani (stewed kelp)

Kombu no Tsukudani (stewed kelp)

When Abokichi first started out, we used to sell onigiri (Japanese rice balls) and the "chili and kelp" flavour was one of our best sellers. It was the popularity of this onigiri that led us to start selling OKAZU in jars. Now, we are happy to share the original recipe for the kelp portion of this onigiri flavour. While cooking, your home will be filled with the tangy nostalgic aroma we sometimes encounter while walking around Tokyo.


about 20

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

3 hours


  • 100g dry shredded kelp (one package)
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup mirin
  • ½ cup cooking sake (or Shaoxing wine)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger juice


  1. Wash the kelp very well. You can put it in a colander within a bowl and swish it around under running water. Lots of sand and maybe even some small pebbles will come out, so rinse it as many times as it takes.
  2. Cut the washed kelp with scissors into pieces about 1-2 inches long and transfer it to a pot.
  3. Add in all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil and reduce to simmer
  4. Continue to simmer and stir the pot often.
  5. It will take several hours, but it is important to simmer slowly. The kelp will gradually get darker and darker. You will know it is done when there is no more liquid in the pot and the kelp has become shiny and sticky.

You can use this kombu no tsukudani in onigiri, or simply as a topping on a bowl of rice. If you're looking to make the Abokichi classic chili and kelp, you'll need a jar of OKAZU too.