Tororo Konbu (Kelp Shavings) (とろろ昆布)

Tororo konbu is a foodstuff made by processing kelp. It is also referred to as kezuri konbu (kelp shavings). Tororo konbu is kelp filament made by shaving the surface of makonbu (L. japonica) or Rishiri konbu (L. ochotensis) which has been tenderized by soaking in vinegar.

Oboro konbu (kelp shreds) is a similar foodstuff to tororo konbu but has been shredded into transparent ribbons instead of filament. Additionally, kelp that has been shaved by machine is referred to as tororo, whereas, kelp that has been manually shaved by craftspeople is referred to as oboro.


In the Hokuriku region, various types of tororo konbu made from different species of kelp and also made by different processing methods are available. In Toyama Prefecture, the consumption level of tororo konbu is particularly high where a variety of tororo konbu is on display in the glass-front showcase and some specialty shops sell tororo konbu by weight. Additionally, in Tsuruga City, there are some stores where demonstration of oboro konbu making is performed before the visitors (whereby the finished products are put on display in the glass-front showcases and are sold by weight). Tororo konbu found in Toyama Prefecture is basically black in color which is used to cover the rice in a lunchbox much like Nori Bento (in which the rice is covered with a very thin layer of bonito shavings seasoned with soy sauce and topped with sheets of nori seaweed) and as a topping for Japanese savory pancakes. Additionally, the celebrated onigiri (rice balls) wrapped in oboro konbu has become so popular that it is being sold at convenience stores.

[Original Japanese]