Dashi stock and the taste of umami are fundamental. The word “umami” — the unique flavor that forms the basis of Japanese food — is directly used in English from the Japanese.
Ingredients such as kelp, bonito, dried sardines, or shiitake mushrooms are simply soaked in water, then brought to a boil, making dashi one of the easiest stocks to prepare.
Dashi is widely used for soup, simmered dishes, and dipping sauce for udon or soba. Because kelp is rich in glutamic acid and bonito contains a large amount of inosinic acid, the combination of the two creates a synergistic effect that strengthens the umami flavor.
How To Make Dashi Stock
(2 Servings of Miso Soup)
5 grams of kelp, 10 grams of bonito flakes, 500 ml water
1. Clean the surface of the kelp with a dry cloth and soak it in water in a pot for at least 30 minutes. This enhances the umami extraction.
2. Heat the water and once bubbles emerge on the kep surface, bring to medium heat. Remove the kelp right before it comes to a full boil.
3. Continue to heat the water and when it comes to a boil again, add the bonito flakes.
4. Let the water come to a boil and remove the pan from heat. Let the bonito steep in the stock for about 2 minutes.
5. Cover the strainer with a paper towel and strain the dashi. To avoid extracting the smell, do not squeeze the bonito.