I'm going to be honest with you: I didn't know that dashi existed until I came across it as an ingredient in a recipe in my Japanese cookbook that I wanted to give a try. And when I looked up the ingredients, it didn't sound that appealing: seaweed and dried tuna flakes. Moreover, every recipe with dashi in it, states that you could easily replace it with water. So why even bother?
But in the end I gave it a try, and well, it was worth it. Let me tell you why. Those two somewhat weird ingredients add an extra layer of flavour to your final dish. I won't go too deep into that, this blog is not a cooking class after all, so just for now, I hope you will trust me on this. And if not, no worries. Let me make just one last remark before I sign of: it's really simple to make. So give it a try. If only once.
- Place the water in a saucepan.
- Break the kombu into two pieces, add to the water, and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Heat the water on a low heat until it just comes to a simmer. This takes about 15 minutes. Don't let the water boil, this will make the seaweed flavour too strong.
- Take out the kombu just before the stock starts to boil, and add the katsuobushi all at once.
- Bring to a boil on a medium heat, the n turn of the heat immediately.
- Let infuse for 10 minutes.
- Strain the dashi into a bowl. When you don't use the stock immediately, keep it in your refrigerator or freezer.