Dashi is a key component when it comes to many Japanese dishes. This stock forms the base to miso soup, broths, dipping sauces and many simmering liquids to accentuate that familiar savoury flavour known as umami. Extremely versatile and a must when it comes to Japanese cuisine. There are many types of dashi, however, this is the more commonly used Ichiban Dashi.
To make 600ml Dashi
Cook Time: 30 minutes
600ml of water
10g Kombu Kelp
15g bonito flakes
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
Begin by wiping 15g of kombu with a damp cloth or kitchen paper to clean. This will remove some of the bitterness from the kombu. Next add 600mls of cold water to a medium sized saucepan then add the cleaned kombu and 3 dried shiitake mushrooms. Place the pan onto a medium heat and slowly bring up to a simmer.
2. When the temperature of the water reaches 70°c, it is at this point that we want to remove the kombu. If left for too long or boiled at this stage the dashi will loose its umami and will create a bitter stock. When removed turn the heat up to high.
3. When the stock just begins to come up to the boil we now want to add the katsubushi or bonito flakes. Add 15g of bonito flakes and continue to boil the dashi for a further 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove the dashi from the heat and set to one side and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes.
4. After at least 15 minutes of the stock steeping all of the umami should have by now been extracted and leaked into the dashi. To finish, pass the stock through a fine sieve lined with either kitchen paper or a muslin cloth into a fresh container. Ensure to use a spatula to push and extract the flavour from the shiitakes and bonito flakes when passing. When ready allow to cool and we now have our ichiban dashi stock.
To make a vegan version of this dashi stock, use only the shiitake or shiitake and kombu instead to make either a shiitake dashi or shojin dashi. Im sure after using this dashi stock within Japanese dishes you will immediately see how effective this stock is.