- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
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Can be made ahead of time.
The japanese have a great tradition of vegetarian food. Dashi, the light Japanese stock, normally contains both kelp, dried konbu, available in Japanese markets, and bonito flakes. This is a traditional vegetarian alternative. Consider slivers of shiitake, rounds of cooked carrot, and sticks of daikon as additives for a light soup to sip with a Japanese meal.
Aside from kaiseki meals, which are composed of a succession of elegant little dishes and which were originally an outgrowth of the tea ceremony, Japanese meals tend to be made up of several dishes served at one time. Soup is normally one of these.
Wipe the konbu with a damp cloth. Cut it into 4-inch (10-cm) pieces and place in a medium saucepan with the water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to mediumlow and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour, or until the liquid has reduced to about 4 1/3 cups (1.1 l).
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.