Kampyō is most often sold in cellophane bags. Some packages will contain very long (several yard) strips, others will have short (6-inch) pieces. If possible, buy long, uncut gourd ribbons. That way you will have more options when cooking.
Whatever the length,be sure to buy UN-BLEACHED naturally sun-dried gourd so you can enjoy the broth that is produced when soaking the ribbons in water to re-hydrate them. Adding a piece of kombu (kelp) to the soaking water will intensify the (naturally) sweet flavor profile of the gourd. Use this broth in lieu of stock in any recipe.
Like all kambutsu (dried foods), dried gourd should be stored in a closed container on a cool, dark shelf. It will keep for months, though it may darken from a pale straw color to deeper golden tone.
Kampyō is used to tie up various edible packages such as the
kale rolls above, left. Kampyō
is also simmered in a sweet soy-broth and included in sushi rolls like the nori maki above, right.