Kombujime 昆布じめ Recipe (ft. Shiro Ebi) June 05 2018

Kombujime is a traditional way of curing food by sandwiching food between two pieces of Konbu for a period of time. This infuses the umami into whatever you're trying to cure! 

We've tried different versions of Kombujime at restaurants -- fishes (mostly white fishes or saba) and vegetables -- and our favourite remains the Shiro Ebi. 

Shiro Ebi is already sweet on its own and we love that the added Umami gives the Shiro Ebi a salty profile that can't be achieved with shoyu. It's a true match. 

We've tried a round of Kombujime with the Shiro Ebi (which is in season right now) to find out the optimum duration for curing.

Watch the video or scroll below to read:

What you'll need:

1. Big sheet of Kombu (note: we've tried the Kombu that was already on the site and realized that it's way too tedious and difficult to lay the Shiro Ebi between the sheets. Most chefs use the larger sheets so we'll use it too.) cut into whatever portion you need. You won't need the whole thing.

2. Shiro Ebi. As much as you want to cure.

Steps:

1. Lightly wipe Kombu with a wringed out wet cloth or kitchen napkin. The white stuff on the Kombu is the source of Umami (not mould) so be sure not to clean that out. 

2. Line Shiro Ebi neatly and flatly onto the Kombu. Then, place another Kombu on top of the lined Shiro Ebi, sandwiching it between two sheets of Kombu.

3. Wrap the sandwich with cling wrap and store in the fridge for 1.5 hours. * 

*Note: This is optional. Cling wrap is not needed if you can pack it into a sealed container. The point is to keep it wrapped and store in the fridge without exposing. You don't want to contaminate your sashimi! 

*Note about time: We stored it in the fridge for 4 hours and that sort of dried the Shiro Ebi out. It's still tasty and really Umami, but if you're going to cure it for more than 1.5 hours, we'd recommend wrapping a wet kitchen napkin around the sandwich before cling wrapping. We saw a chef do this at one of the sushi restaurants ^^ We think the optimum time for this option would be 2.5 hours.

4. Once you're done, remove the cling wrap, peel the top Kombu carefully, then scrape Shiro Ebi off all the Kombu onto a plate and serve as is.