DASHIだし-how to make Japanese soup

Essential building block for making Japanese soup and food

DASHIだし-how to make Japanese soup

What is DASHI?  It is that clear broth/soup that is the building block of all Japanese soup/food.   (In the West, the equivalent would be broth/soup stock/bouillon.)

Once you have the right ingredients, it is not difficult to make.  All you need are KATSUOBUSHI 鰹節/dried bonito flakes, KOMBU昆布/sea kelp, and water.  I will show you how below.

But first, let`s review the basics.

  1. Taste/flavor is composed of 5 elements=sweet, sour, salty, bitter and UMAMI.  (Umami was `discovered` by Mr. Ikeda in 1908, when he successfully extracted glutamic acid from kombu/sea kelp)
  2. Out of the 20 amino acids, a couple contribute the most to creating UMAMI.  1) Glutamic acid from kombu/sea kelp  2)Inosinic acid from dried bonito flakes  3) guanylic acid from shiitake mushrooms   Remember that it is always a combination of fish/animal (eg. bonito flakes, chicken, beef) + vegetable/fruits (eg. seaweed, tomato, onion).  This combination has a multiplying effect on UMAMI and the synergy is created.


How to make DASHI?

2CUPS of DASHI: 10-15 cm of KOMBU (about 8g), 8grams of dried bonito flakes and 2Cups of water  (For Dashi, you can always make more, place it in the frig and use with in 2-3 days)

1 Place the 2Cups of water in a pot.  Wipe off the dust from the KOMBU gently (the white powder is the UMAMI, so keep that) and immerse for 1 hour.

2 Boil it with mid-high power/ gas.  Lower power when there are small bubbles forming on the KOMBU and it starts to sway a bit.  Just before the water boils, take out the KOMBU.  (this timing is important, as it will maximize the KOMBU UMAMI effect.)

3 Then, place all of the KATSUOBUSHI/dried bonito flakes, use the long chopsticks to mix once and turn off the power/fire.  Then leave it until it sinks to the bottom.  (about 3 minutes)


4 Then filter out the soup, using clean kitchen paper/towel.  Your DASHI is ready.  This is called the First Dashi 一番だしand is used for clear soup and special dishes.




First Dashi is ready!

For miso soup and other Japanese dish, you can use Second Dashi二番だし, using the Katsuobushi and Kombu that you had used for the First Dashi.  Also, you can make Furikake (eat with white rice or make onigiri) using them.  (recipe below)


Short cut for DASHI?

There are many ready-to-use Dashi soup-pack available.  All you have to do is to boil the water with the Dashi pack or Dashi powder.


Don`t throw away the Katsuobushi and Kombu.  Make Furikake, to sprinkle over white rice, or use it when making onigiri/rice balls.

1 Chop up the katsuobushi and kombu.

2 In the frying pan, mix them well and get rid of the water so that they become flakes.

3 Add 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce, 1 Tablespoon of Mirin and 5grams of sesame.  Then again, mix them well until they become dry again.

4 Drop a bit of sesame oil and it is done!

(My friend from Hong Kong asked me this question.  How do you make DASHI?  Thank you!)

Any questions or comments?




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