January 26, 2012 |
At the heart of so much of Japanese cooking is the fragrant broth called dashi. And at the heart of dashi are the delicate pink petals of katsuobushi, shaved flakes of dried bonito fish. When steeped with the dried seaweed called konbu, katsuobushi gives dashi its irresistible aroma and deep umami flavor. Despite being made in minutes, the stock is the foundation of many Japanese dishes -- miso soup, salad dressings, sauces for noodles, even meat stews. " Dashi is like the key actor in a movie," says 83-year-old Chobei Yagi, whose 275-year-old store, Tokyo's Yagicho Honten, specializes in katsuobushi and other dried foods.
January 26, 2012
There are several types of katsuobushi that can be used for different purposes. The best will have light pink or beige shavings that will be slightly shiny. Once the packages are opened, the katsuobushi will begin to oxidize and go limp, and the color becomes dull. Katsuobushi is best stored in the freezer. Hanakatsuo is thin petals that resemble large wood shavings. Some contain chiai (dark meat). Shaved karebushi makes a flavorful stock full of aroma.
November 4, 2010
Miso soup with clams and chives Total time: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking time for the clams Servings: 4 Note: You can make a second batch of dashi by combining the used bonito flakes and kombu seaweed in a saucepan with 4 cups of water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat and then simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain and discard the bonito flakes and kombu seaweed. Use the dashi for miso soups, seasoning, etc. It will not be as flavorful as the first batch, but it is still good.
December 30, 2009
Dashi-maki tamago (home-style Japanese omelet) Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Servings: 4 Note: Konbu (dried seaweed), dried bonito flakes and light soy sauce can be found at Japanese markets. Tamago frying pans are available at Japanese markets, but you can use a round 10-inch nonstick frying pan. This recipe calls for a bamboo sushi mat, available at Japanese stores. Dashi 1 piece konbu (6 to 8 inches long) 4 cups water 2 cups dried bonito flakes (katsuo-bushi)
March 7, 2001
There is a much easier way to prepare dashi, the uniquely flavored and indispensable stock for miso soup ('Miso in America," Feb. 21). Prepared dashi powder is sold in small boxes containing several sealed packets, much like bouillon, and available in any market selling Japanese groceries. Using prepared dashi, one can make as much or as little miso as one wants and have it at once. Simply boil the amount of water wanted for soup, add some of the powdered dashi (it dissolves instantly)