umami" was created because of this very basic Japanese dish. It was delicious enough to earn a 5th taste:)
I use dashi as a base for soup or just to simmer something in--every time we have Japanese food for dinner. So I thought it was a good place to start.
makes about 4 cups (8 cups if you make second dashi)
4 1/2 cups water (another 4 1/2 cups for second dashi)
2 cups dried bonito flakes
1 4x4 inch (or smaller, if you like a lighter flavor) sheet of kombu
- for first dashi: Fill a medium saucepan with 4 1/2 cups water. Add the kombu. (do not wipe off or rinse off the white powder, this is where all the extra nutrition is!) Heat over high heat until the water almost reaches a boil. remove the kombu and add the bonito flakes. Bring the liquid to a boil and immediately strain the bonito flakes with a fine mesh sieve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze in small portions.
- for second dashi: Add the bonito flakes and kombu back into the saucepan. Add 4 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and discard the solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze in small portions.