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Hiroyuki, yes the whole point of using shellfish is to save the bother of making dashi! :laugh:

Torakris, I think you're right about clear shellfish soups in restaurants. I was curious to see if anybody had worked out a great way to get the flavor AND the clarity.

But I've heard Japanese cooks say that when making regular dashi for miso soup, they boil up the ingredients for more flavor, and let the dashi get cloudy too.

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Sorry, too late. It's hopeless :raz:

Am I the only nut now attempting to shave bonito fresh? I remember my mother using it in the 1970s, but she started using dashi powder as soon as she discovered it. I used powder too until my Venezuelan husband went to Japan and discovered true dashi. Now, even the packaged bonito flakes won't do.

I now have a wooden grating box (katsuobushi kezuri-bako), but I still haven't gotten the hang of grating flakes instead of powdered bits. I'm sure I'm grating wrong on the grain, but I've tried every angle. :wacko:

But fresh-grated katsuobushi has the most amazing smell. I also love the smell of the wooden box.

And if I have time, I soak the kombu in cold water for about an hour before heating slowly, and then I remove it before it boils. I don't wipe the kombu first-is that bad? I like the flavor of the coating, but it's probably some scary thing.

When making niban-dashi, I reuse the first dashi materials, plus a handful of fresh katsuobushi flakes.

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Am I the only nut now attempting to shave bonito fresh? I remember my mother using it in the 1970s, but she started using dashi powder as soon as she discovered it. I used powder too until my Venezuelan husband went to Japan and discovered true dashi. Now, even the packaged bonito flakes won't do.

I now have a wooden grating box (katsuobushi kezuri-bako), but I still haven't gotten the hang of grating flakes instead of powdered bits. I'm sure I'm grating wrong on the grain, but I've tried every angle.  :wacko:

But fresh-grated katsuobushi has the most amazing smell. I also love the smell of the wooden box.

No I am a nut too! :biggrin:

I too haven't really gotten the hang of the proper way to shave....

They come out prety big and while it is fine for using is dashi, I finsd them too strong to use as a topping for other dishes.

gallery_6134_1857_24989.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I don't wipe the konbu first (unless I drop it on the floor :cool: ) - the white powdery stuff is mainly gooood stuff.

Shaving katsuo-bushi - I've been tempted to go that route, until I consider where in my tiny kitchen I would store the box!

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I am another person who doesn't wipe the kombu....


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I was told that they make the stock bitter, but I wonder if that is one of those things passed down generation to generation with out any one questioning it.

Since I have never made niboshi dashi, I probably shouldn't be commenting.... :blink:  :biggrin:

Looks like I've got a project!

Will make niboshi dashi twice, once complete with heads and guts, once without. Will taste, get husband to taste, and report back.

I am going to try this tonight as I just got a bag of nice niboshi from korea town. I tried a blind taste test of the niboshi themselves and concluded that the one with head and guts had a bitter taste. I will be the only one tasting the niboshi dashi seeing as my roommate is "allergic" to fish :blink: . Imagine his shock as he watched me eat whole dried fish with a blindfold on!

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The great niboshi taste off:

150g water, 10g niboshi

A: heads and guts

B: no head but has some guts

C: no head and no guts

Each batch was allowed to soak for 30 minutes and then was boiled for about 10. I used three mugs in the microwave for this test.

Results of the blind taste test:

The winner was C, no heads and no guts. I’m not surprised after the results of the whole niboshi eating test. B had a little less of a bitter taste to it than A, if I was in a hurry I would just snap of the heads and leave whatever guts remained. A was bitter but also seemed to have more flavor for the same amount of weight as the others. The flavor of A seemed more “meaty” but the bitterness outweighed any flavor advantage in my opinion. C had a clear flavor and nice aroma. If I have the time I will definitely be removing the heads and guts.

All that niboshi dashi did not go to waste, I made a tasty Korean soon dubu for dinner :smile:

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anyone know if its possible to get the block form katsuobushi (dont know the proper name, but the kind you were talking about having to shave off pieces) in the states or over the net?

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I know there are a number of dashi recipes and I make a couple but I was thinking of the convienance factor associated with the dashi powder they sell at the korean grocery. I looked at the brands they had and they all had MSG. Any out there that is any good? Any out there without MSG?

Soup

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I'm pretty sure that all dashi powders produced in Japan contain MSG.

If you want to make MSG-free dashi easily, you may want to consider buying dashi packs, like this one.

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If you look around a bit you will see some products labeled

無添加調味料

mutenka choumiryou

These are additive free products and I have seen them popping up more and more, but I am unsure of the availibility of them out of Japan.

Here is one example

They still are not a staple prodcut on supermarket shelves here though....


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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OK, I should have said, "I was pretty sure there were no such things as MSG-free dashi powder until these products came into existence."

I did a good search and found that even Shimaya, the inventor of instant dashi powder, now produces mutenka dashi powder.

http://www.shimaya.co.jp/lineup/mutenka-1.html

Quite amazing!

I think I'll stick to one of those cheap instant dashi powder, though.

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also keep in mind that even "msg-free" or additive free dashi-no-moto is not free of msg. It's just going to be free of the purified, crystalline product. Konbu (dried) is the food from which MSG was first isolated, as far as I recall; it's just in much more sensible quantities.

You'll also find glutamates in other foods, especially cheeses, yeast extract, and chilies.


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I have a package of MSG-free dashinomoto around, surprisingly. I rarely use it though. I tend to only use it when I need such a small amount of dashi (few tablespoons?) that I don't feel like making a normal amount, and just when the taste won't be that noticable.

Still, I like the idea of the mutenka type in those situations.

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I've purchased MSG free Dashi no moto in Australia, Singapore and Thailand. I can't remember the exact name, but it comes in either a blue or green box, with a picture of a bonito on it....and to make it obvious.......it says MSG free across one corner!

But they do use mushroom extract and seaweed extract, so maybe MSG free means no chemical MSG but natural ones.

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I know Kelp is a natural source of MSG but I have never gotten a head ache from it. But I eat foods with MSG added, I get the aches.

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I would like to introduce about Korean style dashi powder.

I came to know this from Korean TV drama called "Changum"

You can make this simply crashing and mixing dried shiitake,dried iriko(small sardine or something?) and dried konbu. You can use this for miso soup, ohitashi and any Japanese dishes that uses dashi powder and tastes nice. I think it well worth trying.


Japanese female born and grew up in Kansai area (western Japan incl. Osaka,Kyoto) now living in Tokyo for 10 years. Love to cook and go for dining esp.Italian,Korean and Chinese.

My blog themed on cooking and dining in Tokyo:http://travel.web.infoseek.co.jp/blog

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When making niban-dashi, I reuse the first dashi materials, plus a handful of fresh katsuobushi flakes.

Is this how it's usually done? If so, why is the niban-dashi, according to torakris "stronger flavored"?

I'm thinking of making a risotto with dashi, should I use ichiban or niban dashi? I'm leaning towards the ichiban.

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When making niban-dashi, I reuse the first dashi materials, plus a handful of fresh katsuobushi flakes.

Is this how it's usually done? If so, why is the niban-dashi, according to torakris "stronger flavored"?

I'm thinking of making a risotto with dashi, should I use ichiban or niban dashi? I'm leaning towards the ichiban.

Yes, this is how it is usually done. The stronger flavor comes fom the additional katsuo flakes. Niban dashi can also be made with the strained kombu and katsuo used in the making of the ichiban dashi and then simmered for a longer period to create a stronger broth. The longer it is simmered the stronger it is.

Ichiban dashi is normally reserved for clear soups where you want the taste of the other ingredients to stand out. It is best used immediately after making before it looses its fragrance. The subleties of this broth could be lost in a risotto and I think I would prefer a stronger tasting niban dashi. Of course I am not one who normally takes a light hand in cooking...


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Considering the fact that

Ichiban = fragrant, for use in clear soups

Niban = tasty, for use in simmered disehs and miso soups

as torakris suggests,

niban dashi seems to be the right answer.

This Japanese-style risotto recipe calls for ichiban dashi, but no explanation as to why ichiban should be used.

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If you really, really want some....

Let me know before I head back to the US next summer. :biggrin:  The shipping from Japan is ridiculous and probably not worth the price, but it would be quite cheap for me to bring in my suitcase and ship it from Ohio.

I'd be very interested in being able to obtain a genuine katsuo block, but am wondering whether it could be shaved using a French style mandoline or even a Benriner.

Also, how much do the katsuos cost? I assume they are graded according to quality or size etc.


Monterey Bay area

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katsuo blocks cost about 1000¥ and the shaving box costs about 3000¥. I guess if you were inventive you could turn a woodworking plane upside down and clamp it to something and then shave with that. The block is really hard, harder than most woods, so I don't think the french style mandoline or benriner would withstand the cutting or be stable enough. I buy mine by weight at a wholesale market. I'm not sure what the cost per gram is because the man usually weights it and says "that'll be 1000¥" when clearly they are different weights each time. we have a special relationship, me and the katsuo man.

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I don't see the ratio listed on the product page, although it might be be buried somewhere in the site. It's probably listed on the box. Can you post a photo of the box from different sides?


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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I have scoured the site as well and can't find any information. I did request some free samples of their products though! :biggrin:

If you could post a picture it would be great otherwise I am headed off to a supermarket in a couple hours and I could look for it there and report back.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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