Dashi is one of the foundation blocks of Japanese cuisine. Dashi is the pure essence of the sea and is used as a base for soups, stews and other dishes. Dashi Stock is light with just a hint of sea and salt.
Dashi-The Foundation of Japanese Cuisine-
The base of stock in Japanese cuisine is Dashi. Dashi is a broth made from kombu kelp and bonito flakes. Bonito flakes are paper-thin shavings of dried bonito tuna. Simmered in water, the kombu and bonito add the salty flavor of the sea to Dashi. Dashi is quick and easy to make from scratch using our recipe, so don't spend extra money buying packets of salty instant Dashi.
We make dashi stock and use it in a wide variety of dishes and don't limit ourselves to Japanese cooking. We use dashi stock in recipes that call for fish stock or bottled clam juice like clam chowder or the French classic fish stew Bouillabaise. Dashi stock can also be used when making a sauce to serve over fish, like a basic white sauce with dashi and a bit of white wine napped over poached or grilled salmon.
Cooking with Dashi-
Dashi is less salty and milder in flavor than fish stock or clam juice from the market, so we use it in dishes where we aren't looking for an stronger flavor. And dashi is the base for a steaming hot, soothing bowl of Miso Soup with Cabbage and Clams.
large pieces of kombu
packet of dried bonito flakes
Pour the water into a deep stockpot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-high and add the kombu and bonito flakes.
Cook the dashi stock for 20 minutes. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and pour the dashi through the strainer. Discard the kombu and bonito flakes.
Pour the dashi stock into a container and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
We add more Kombu and Bonito Flakes than other recipes because we prefer a stronger flavor in the finished Dashi, but adjust the water, kombu and bonito to your liking. The dashi will keep covered and refrigerated for up to one week.