"Kobujime is a traditional Japanese technique for preserving fresh fish for transport inland. The fish was salted and wrapped in kombu. We still use the technique at Ichi, but in a different style and for different reasons,” says chef Max Bauer from Ichi Sushi in San Francisco. “We create a kobujime hirame using fluke. The texture of the raw fish is gauged when it’s broken down — if the fish is soft, it’s salted to expedite the osmosis process that occurs between fillet and seaweed. If the fish is deemed firm enough, it goes straight into the kombu and spends about four hours curing. The kombu enhances the delicate flavor of the hirame with naturally occurring glutamic acid, or umami. We like to start our omakase diners with this delicate and delicious piece of nigiri dressed with Meyer lemon or yuzu salt and shiso, as its umami characteristics paired with bright citrus open the palate to the more complex notes delivered later in the meal. When eating kobujime hirame, you aren't actually eating seaweed, but you certainly experience fully the impact that seaweed can have on food."