Kobumaki Recipe

Konbu Maki - Osechi Ryori
Kobumaki (Kelp Rolls Stuffed with Salmon for Japanese New Year). Koki Iino/Getty Images
Ratings
  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
387 Calories
14g Fat
31g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 387
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 2363mg 103%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 32g
Calcium 97mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many traditional and delicious dishes served on one of the most important Japanese holidays, Oshogatsu, or New Year's Day. These dishes are known in Japanese as "osechi ryori." Each dish often represents a wish for good health, prosperity, good fortune, fertility, or happiness.

Kobumaki is a dish that is often served on New Year's Day as part of the osechi ryori feast. It is a Japanese kelp roll ("kobu" meaning kelp, and "maki" meaning roll), that is stuffed with salmon and then rolled closed and tied with a beautiful strip of kanpyo (dried gourd) and simmered with essential Japanese ingredients: soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. Kobumaki represents joyfulness, or joy, as part of the word "kobu" is also represented in the Japanese term for joyful, or "yorokobu".

While kobumaki is often served as osechi ryori, kobumaki can also be found in Japanese bento boxes or as a side dish to a traditional Japanese meal.

An alternative filling for kobumaki is Japanese gobo or burdock root. It offers a vegetarian alternative to the salmon. The use of burdock root is also symbolic as it represents long life, as the roots themselves are quite long in length.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounce dried kombu (kelp); approximately 8 five-inch-long pieces of dried kombu
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 strips (10 inch long/strip) dried kanpyo (gourd)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 pound salmon filet
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 4 tablespoons mirin

Steps to Make It

  1. Soak kombu (dried kelp) in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes. Reserve this liquid for later use.

  2. Rub a pinch of salt on the dried kanpyo strips and then rinse with water.

  3. In a large bowl, soak kanpyo in water for 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, cut the salmon fillet into about 5 inch long strips.

  5. Place a strip of the salmon filet on top of a sheet of pliable kombu and roll it.

  6. Tie the konbu roll closed, using strips of kanpyo.

  7. Place kombu rolls in a medium pot.

  8. Then add the reserved soaking liquid to the pot, using the water that was used for reconstituting the kombu (dried kelp). Pour this over the kombu rolls. Bring this to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.

  9. Turn down the heat to low. Next add sugar, sake, mirin, and soy sauce to the pot.

  10. Simmer on low for about one hour until the salmon is cooked through, kombu is tender, and the flavors of the simmering liquid have absorbed into the rolls.

  11. Turn off the heat. Let kelp rolls rest and cool in the pot.

  12. Remove the kobumaki rolls from the pot lay them on a cutting board. Cut each piece into halves.

Article Updated by Judy Ung.