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japanese cooking - dashi


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Hi there:

 

Short version: I don't get all the hubbub with dashi.  It's nice, and makes my miso soup taste great.

 

Rant: I don't see many recipes on the internet that highlight "ichiban dashi" (first one), other than simmering some veggies.  Everything I read about dashi suggests the first is magical and amazing, and not to be used in regular cooking like rice, miso, etc.  I decided to ignore it and use it in miso soup.  Haters gonna hate.

 

Long version: While browsing a nearby grocery store, I came across "dried matsutake" mushrooms.  Never heard of them.  $128/lb price tag (this is a small handful, cost $8).  Had to try it.  They are sitting here in front of me.  Reading up on recipes, the most common I find for this mushroom is a simple rice dish.  They make dashi, then use that with the soy/sake/mirin to make rice.  I'll be trying that.  What pushed me over the edge to post this, however, is that I see this alot: dashi, then mix with that trio in a lot of recipes.. I don't get it?  I find soy, mirin/sake to be so overpowering, there's no way the dashi will even come through.  What's it's purpose here?  Simply tradition?

 

Hopefully all this makes sense :)

Thanks for your time!

 

PS: as many of you know, there are multiple variations of dashi, and I've played with many of them, using both quality and crappy ingredients, sous vide, chanting in reverse gregorian while grating petrified fish blocks on wood soaked in logs, even some vegan variations.  My intent here is not how to make dashi, but rather, find a use for it other than miso soup.

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11 hours ago, jedovaty said:

Hi there:

 

Short version: I don't get all the hubbub with dashi.  It's nice, and makes my miso soup taste great.

 

Rant: I don't see many recipes on the internet that highlight "ichiban dashi" (first one), other than simmering some veggies.  Everything I read about dashi suggests the first is magical and amazing, and not to be used in regular cooking like rice, miso, etc.  I decided to ignore it and use it in miso soup.  Haters gonna hate.

 

Long version: While browsing a nearby grocery store, I came across "dried matsutake" mushrooms.  Never heard of them.  $128/lb price tag (this is a small handful, cost $8).  Had to try it.  They are sitting here in front of me.  Reading up on recipes, the most common I find for this mushroom is a simple rice dish.  They make dashi, then use that with the soy/sake/mirin to make rice.  I'll be trying that.  What pushed me over the edge to post this, however, is that I see this alot: dashi, then mix with that trio in a lot of recipes.. I don't get it?  I find soy, mirin/sake to be so overpowering, there's no way the dashi will even come through.  What's it's purpose here?  Simply tradition?

 

Hopefully all this makes sense :)

Thanks for your time!

 

PS: as many of you know, there are multiple variations of dashi, and I've played with many of them, using both quality and crappy ingredients, sous vide, chanting in reverse gregorian while grating petrified fish blocks on wood soaked in logs, even some vegan variations.  My intent here is not how to make dashi, but rather, find a use for it other than miso soup.

 

 

If I go to the trouble to shave katsuobushi and make ichiban dashi I drink it neat (probably not a traditional Japanese term) as a soup before the meal, not even with added salt or shoyu, and most certainly no miso:

 

Soup04212017.png

 

 

Well sometimes I add a little shoyu, but not in the bowl pictured above.

 

The eG dashi thread is here:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/21765-dashi/

 

Recently I have enjoyed reading Flavor and Seasonings, Dashi, Umami, and Fermented Foods, Japanese Culinary Academy, 2017.  Your mileage may vary.

 

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Dashi .... it's just a stock, it has very distinct flavor.

 

I made various kind of japanese rice dish, gohan, kamameshi, etc. Other usage, for example dipping sauce, like ponzu. And of course for making soup, like ramen.

 

Without dashi, the taste would be different.

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Like others have said... it's a basic stock, so use it everywhere you might think it'd be useful. Poach fish or vegetables in it. Use it as a soup base (udon, ramen, etc...). Use it to flavor grains. Use it in sauces. Put some in a saucepan and steam some shellfish open in it.

 

I like David Chang's appropriation of "dashi" where he uses kombu with things that aren't bonito to create new flavors. Most famous is his "Bacon Dashi," which is delicious. I also like to make a version with smoked country ham hocks. Kombu-infused country ham hock broth is the bizness. Chang also uses various vegetables to create things like "carrot dashi" that he uses to poach carrots in.

 

Morimoto uses dashi a lot. Watching some of his battles on Iron Chef (or checking out his cookbook, which is great) is a great place to pick up some ideas.

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