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ChrisTaylor

Can't get kombu. What now?

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In Australia you used to be able to (easily) buy kombu. Mostly, mind you, in little packets, like you'd use if you wanted to make dashi, but I guess if you poked around (I never needed to) you'd maybe find large sheets.

Anyway.

I want to make the vegetarian nigiri in the new Nobu book. Part of the process is placing vegetables (radish, baby carrot, whatever), after salting them, (tightly) in between sheets of kombu in the fridge overnight. Then you follow the usual process of shaping and assembling nigiri. It's mentioned that sometimes this technique is used with bland fish to impart umami.

So. Yeah. Only recently was it decided you can't import kombu into Australia any more. Maybe some store, somewhere, is pulling a dodgy. I wouldn't be surprised. What can I use instead of kombu? Will regular nori sheets do the job? I don't need to keep it strictly vegetarian, by the way, so if there's a non-veg solution I'm all ears.

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Mjx   

If you've looked into this already, apologies, but are there any locally available forms of laminaria species? Relatively speaking, Australia has a pretty long coastline, I'd figure somewhere along it the water would be clean enough to harvest kombu, or a related species, if it grows there, in which case some shops might carry it (health foods shops, that sort of thing).

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