Kombu is the Japanese word for kelp which has been widely adopted in English to refer to this mineral-rich variety of brown alga. While many species of kelp thrive in ocean waters around the world, Porto Mui√±os harvest the broad, leathery blades of laminaria ochroleuca, also known as golden kelp, from the dense underwater forests it creates in cold waters off the coast of Galicia. Its flavor is a deep mineral intensity with an aromatic note that is almost smoky. Prized as a primary ingredient for broth in Japanese cooking, kombu imparts richness and salinity to any culinary application and has a slight thickening property if simmered for a prolonged period in sauces. It has a fleshy and cartilaginous texture and is best blanched or boiled before being eaten. It is often found dried for use in soups and stocks. Kombu serves a dual function in the kitchen as it can be simmered in soups, rice, pasta and legumes to impart flavor into the cooking liquid, then rinsed and sliced or chopped to be incorporated into finished dishes for added flavor and texture. This seaweed is fresh and salted. It should be rinsed for thirty seconds three times in cold water before being used in the kitchen.
A family company with two generations at work collecting wild seaweed from the Galician coast of northwestern Spain where the Atlantic meets the Cantabrian sea. Porto Muinos combine underwater diving with coastal rock harvesting when the tide is low to bring a variety of seaweeds to market through regulated and sustainable means and with great respect for the coastal ecosystem they inhabit.