How To Make Basic Dashi (suitable for toddlers, too!)
We learn a lot from our customers and one great tip we got from our young moms is to use Dashi as a salt replacement! We have been sharing this with our customers ever since.
Dashi is fundamental in Japanese food - it is used as a soup base, as a seasoning in stir-fries; porridges; in Tamagoyaki; Chawanmushi and the list goes on.
It is usually made with Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi), dried Kelp seaweed (Kombu), and sometimes dried anchovies or dried sardines. It adds Umami and is really healthy as there's no animal fat in it at all~
You can make a batch of Dashi and keep in a covered container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days, or up to 1 month in the freezer!
Here's a recipe for basic Dashi that is suitable for both adults and toddlers. You can skip the Hana Katsuobushi if you wish to make a vegetarian version.
We've also added Kani Tsumire that we fly in from Toyosu Market -- these are a hit with both adults and toddlers for its soft texture!
Did You Know: Seaweed is the best natural source of iodine, which helps normal cognitive function and aids concentration in class. It is also rich in iron, which helps transport oxygen around the body!
1. Clean Kombu with a moistened napkin, then add it to the water in a pot.
2. Set Kombu in the pot aside for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours if you have time.
3. Set the pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to the lowest when the water starts to boil, then remove the Kombu.
5. Add Hana Katsuobushi into the pot, mix, and stop the heat.
6. Strain Dashi soup with a strainer (or with a clean cloth if you have). *Press down on the Katsuobushi with a spoon to extract the maximum flavour, but not too much.
Leave it to cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.
Keep in a covered container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days, or up to 1 month in the freezer.
7. Reheat Dashi in a pot, add Tsumire (we used Kani Tsumire), bring it to a boil, season accordingly (we didn't add any other seasoning) and serve.