If you make fresh dashi stock frequently, you’ll find yourself with quite a bit of leftover kelp. Save the pieces in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, and when you have about 48 square inches, make up a batch of these pleasantly spicy squares. Once prepared according to the recipe below, the kelp will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a month or more. A few squares will perk up a steaming bowl of plain white rice and add nutrition (particularly calcium) to your meal if you serve it as a condiment.
In an enamel, glass, or stainless-steel pot, bring
Rinse your saucepan and fill it with the soy sauce and syrupy rice wine. Over medium heat, bring this mixture to a simmer, then place the parboiled kelp squares in it. Cook over fairly low heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently. The liquid will become very foamy as it reduces rapidly. Season the kelp with the fragrant pepper powder, stirring to ensure even distribution. Remove the pan from the heat and let the dark, lustrous kelp squares cool to room temperature before serving or storing for future use.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.