kom·​bu ˈkäm-(ˌ)bü How to pronounce kombu (audio)
: an edible kelp (such as Saccharina japonica synonym Laminaria japonica) that is typically dried and aged and used especially in Japanese cooking as a seasoning in soup stock
The puzzling broth was dashi—the Japanese cook's basic soup stock—seasoned with another seaweed, kombu.Caroline Bates
Thick, dark green strips of kombu are used in soups and stews, and added to beans and grains to help tenderize them while cooking.Jan Wolff
The actual harvesting of kombu is done mainly from boats …H. Jesse Walker

Examples of kombu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Add sweet potatoes, dashi, kombu (if using), 5 tablespoons soy sauce, the mirin, sake and sugar. Melissa Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2024 His dish represented poverty, inspired by the humble ingredients in Dan’s leek cannoli with potato mousse, potato tuile, pickle and kombu salad. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 10 Apr. 2024 New York Strip with dungeness crab hollandaise; and the 1.5 pound kombu wrapped Maine lobster. Passport: Explore the finest destinations and experiences around the world in the Forbes Passport newsletter. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Some bartenders are playing with ingredients like curry, dill, shiitake, and kombu — ingredients seldom found behind the bar. Kate Dingwall, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 What’s on the menu at Shabu Shack? Shabu Shack offers a handful of broths for cooking in a hot pot, including spicy Sichuan, miso and traditional kombu. Hanh Truong, Sacramento Bee, 26 Feb. 2024 The bones are grilled and used to make a stock with kombu, ginger and scallion for the porridge. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan. 2024 Le Mont Royal offers a trio of variations: a classic vodka-and-Clamato version; the Vert, a tart mix of tequila, tomatillos and anchovy, which adds more umami than fishy flavors; and the Jaune, which looks to Japan for inspiration and is made with shochu and kombu. Sophia Solano, Washington Post, 1 June 2023 Sometimes called Irish moss, Irish sea moss, or by its scientific name, Chondrus crispus, sea moss is a frilly sea vegetable similar to other types of edible seaweed, such as nori, kelp, wakame, and kombu. Vogue, 8 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kombu.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kombu was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near kombu

Cite this Entry

“Kombu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kombu. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

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