Writer: Yumiko Ishimaru
In this column, I will talk about the basic methods of making dashi stock. There are two ways:
Mizu-dashi: Gently clean the dashi kombu with a damp cloth and let it soak in water overnight in the refrigerator. It has a very delicate flavor and is mainly used for “shojin-ryori (Japanese vegetarian cuisine that originated from the Japanese Zen temples).
Ni-dashi: Put water and dashi kombu in a pot. Soak the kombu for 20 minutes. Heat up the pot slowly to 70℃ and take out the kombu.
Kombu dashi stock has a subtle umami flavor and is good to use because it won’t overpower the flavors of other ingredients you enjoy, such as in nabe, chawanmushi (an egg custard dish), yu-dofu, aemono (vinegared and dressed dishes), sunomono (vinegared dishes), etc.
It is better to make a lot of dashi stock at one time and store it in a refrigerator for three days. Busy housewives can save time by doing so.
Some people freeze it in an ice cube maker or Ziploc bags so that you can use it for one cup of miso soup or nimono for one person.