7 Amazing Japanese Cooking Tips Using Dashi!

7 Amazing Japanese Cooking Tips Using Dashi!

If you love cooking Japanese food, you must have cooked many dishes using what we call, “dashi.” Dashi is a type of soup (broth) that is commonly used in many famous Japanese dishes, such as miso soup or udon. You might usually use ready-made dashi powder when you cook those dishes. Traditionally Japanese people made dashi from scratch by adding ingredients, such as fish, vegetable, mushroom or seaweed, into boiling water. I will tell you how to make 7 types of dashi from scratch. Since making dashi is quite simple, it would be a great way to improve your Japanese cooking.



 

7 Amazing Japanese Cooking Tips Using Dashi!

 

1. Ichiban dashi

It’s an elegant tasting dashi that is usually used in osuimono (soup), chawanmushi (egg custard) or ozouni (New Year’s special soup). You can also use it for making soba soup or udon soup.Ingredients:8 g of konbu (kelp)4 cups of water20 g of katsuobushi (shaved dried bonito)1, Put 8 g of konbu and 4 cups of water in a pot. Without closing with a rid, heat it up2, Before the water boils, take out the konbu3, As the water start to boil, put 20 g of katsuobushi and turn off the heat4, As the katsuobushi start to sink at the bottom of the pot, strain it with a wet paper towel on the top of a strainer. Do not squeeze out the bonito.

 

2. Niban dashi

Niban dashi is commonly used when we cook “nimono” which is Japanese style cooked vegetables. Since its taste is more pronounced than Ichiban dashi, it is perfect for cooking miso soup or takikomi gohan (steamed rice with ingredients). You can also use for a soup of nabe (a hot pot).

Ingredients:
Konbu and katsuobushi that are used in cooking Ichiban dashi
One hand full of unused katsuobushi
5 cups of water

1, Put the ingredient that are already used to cook Ichiban dashi and another hand full of new katsuobushi with water inside a pot and heat it up.
2, When the water start to simmer, lower the heat and cook it for 10 minutes.
3, Strain the ingredients with a wet paper towel on top of a strainer.

 

3. Katsuobushi dashi

Katsuobushi dashi also has pronounced taste, therefore it’s a good soup for cooking nimono or nabe.

Ingredients:
25 g of katsuobushi atsukezuri (thick shaved dried bonito)
4 cups of water

1, Put 4 cups of water in a pot and heat it up without covering with a rid
2, As the water starts to simmer, put 25 g of thick shaved dried bonito inside
3, Without covering with a rid, cook it for 10 to 20 minutes in low temperature
4, Turn off the heat and strain it a wet paper towel on top of a strainer

 

4. Konbu dashi

Unlike Katsuobushi dashi, konbu dashi is a simple tasting soup that goes well with fish. You can also use it when you cook tofu, chawanmushi, or nabe.

Ingredients:
20 g of konbu (kelp)
5 cups of water

1, Wipe out the surface of konbu and make a small cut on both ends with scissors
2, Put prepared konbu and water in a pot and leave it for 30 minutes until the konbu become soft
3, Heat up the pot in low temperature. As the water starts to boil, take out the konbu

 

5. Niboshi dashi

Using dried baby sardines, niboshi dashi has pronounced and deep taste that is perfect for miso soup.

Ingredient:
25 g of niboshi (dried baby sardine)
5 cups of water

1, Remove the head and the stomach of baby sardines and cut in half if they are bigger
2, Put the prepared dried baby sardines and water in a pot. If you don’t have to use it in cooking right away, leave it for a night. Otherwise leave it at least for 30 minutes
3, Then heat it up without closing it with a rid. Lower the heat when the water starts to boil. Leave it on low heat for 10 minutes while carefully removing the scum
4, Turn off the heat and strain it with a wet paper towel on a strainer

 

6. Shiitake dashi

The soup made of shiitake mushroom is commonly used to cook traditional Japanese dishes. You can use it for miso soup, nimono, takikomi gohan or udon.

Ingredients:
30 g of dried shiitake
5 cups of water

1, Wipe out the dust on dried shiitake
2, Wash them with water and leave it in water until they are nice and soft
3, It would be preferable to leave it for 3 to 4 hours. At least leave it for 1 to 2 hours.
4, Strain it with a paper towel or a strainer

 

7. Saba dashi

This is a soup made of mackerel. It’s not the most common dashi, but you can use it for cooking popular Japanese dishes when you want to try out different tastes.

Ingredients:
30 to 40 g of sababushi (shaved dried mackerel)
5 cups of water

1, Put shaved dried mackerel inside boiling water
2, Cook it for few minutes
3, Strain it with a wet paper towel on a strainer

 

Conclusion

As you notice, it’s not very difficult to make dashi from scratch. Japanese people use varieties of dashi depending on traditions and regions. That’s why a simple miso soup tastes so different depending on who cooked it and which part of region in Japan you are staying. If you love cooking Japanese food, it would be interesting to try out different types of dashi next time.

 

7 Amazing Japanese Cooking Tips Using Dashi!

1. Ichiban dashi
2. Niban dashi
3. Katsuobushi dashi
4. Konbu dashi
5. Niboshi dashi
6. Shiitake dashi
7. Saba dashi