plays a important role in making Japanese food.
Dried Bonito flakes
is far most common (fish) broth used in WASHOKU cooking; ‘DASHI’.
The taste of ‘DASHI’ may be felt like a ‘taste of the ocean’ for newcomers at first.
Soak the dried seaweed in water before using. I prefer to soak it for at least half a day so until it has well absorbed the water. Bring it to boil and let is simmer before boiling point (low heat) for 30 minutes or so, until you start seeing the broth very lightly tanned and smell a good scent of seaweed.
Once all the goodies of the seaweed seem to be extracted, bring the soup to boiling point. Grab a handful of dried bonito flakes, add it to the soup and immediately turning off the heat.
To get a clear ‘ichiban-dashi’ (1st soup), do not boil the bonito flakes as it tend to bring out a bitter taste.
written by Hisako Makimura, Tokyo/Japan