Dashi is essential in the Japanese kitchen. It is a stock, basically, made from dried seaweed and dried tuna (bonito), that is used in a wide range of Japanese dishes.
This recipe yields more than you will need for the miso soup in this party, but you’ll need some for the dipping sauces. Keep the extra dashi on hand for more soup later on. Dashi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for about a month. By the way, perhaps the only acceptable powdered stock of any kind I’ve ever used is dashi powder, a wonderful shortcut available at all Japanese groceries (as is the konbu and dried bonito you’ll need to make dashi from scratch).
- 8 cups plus ¼ cup cold water
- 2 ounces konbu (giant kelp)
- 2 ounces dried bonito flakes
Place 8 cups of water and the konbu in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a simmer. Immediately add ¼ cup of cold water and stir in the bonito flakes. Return to a bare simmer and immediately turn off the heat. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Discard the konbu and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.