Dashi is a simple broth, or cooking stock, from Japan. It is a very important aspect of Japanese cooking because it's a fundamental ingredient of many Japanese dishes. There are only two ingredients in dashi besides water, and these are konbu (kelp) and katsuobushi (preserved, fermented skipjack tuna). These two dried foods are rich in naturally occurring glutamates and provide the umami flavor to the stock.With so many granulated or liquid instant dashi products on the market, homemade dashi is becoming less popular. But if you have a good, flavorful dashi, it will make a significant impact on the food you are making. The difference is comparable to say, homemade chicken stock versus chicken bouillon cubes or boxed chicken stock. Thankfully, it is very easy to make a delicious, nourishing dashi from scratch for soup, sauces, dressings, and much more. Here is Yardbird's dashi recipe that can be made both at home or in a professional kitchen:Yardbird's Dashi Recipe2 liters water20 grams konbu20 grams katsuoboshi (dried bonito flakes)
- Soak the konbu in cold, filtered water overnight. Alkaline water is preferable, as it gets more flavor out of the dashi.
- The next day, warm up the water and konbu over medium heat to 90°C and keep at this temperature for 30 minutes. Do not boil the konbu or else it will melt and the dashi will become bitter and viscous.
- Remove the konbu. Then turn the heat up to 100°C. Once the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat.
- Add the katsuoboshi to the water and soak for 30 minutes.
- Strain the dashi through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.