Quick dashi from scratch… or from fish flakes (via Gourmande in Osaka)

LY : the first step of Japanese cooking

Quick dashi from scratch... or from fish flakes Fish flakes… I am cheating, I could start with a block of dried fish and shave it, but I don't do that. You can buy this "kezuri katsuo", bonito flakes in Asian grocery stores. Dashi is the stock. It will take 2 minutes of your time to do it. That's a basic for decent Japanese cooking. What's wrong with instant dashi ? Not much, only MSG, preservatives, flavoring and higher price. This is one recipe, among others. I use a combo of 3 ingredients … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Making dashi…’t! (Obanazawa no dashi) (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Making dashi...'t! (Obanazawa no dashi) CAUTION : This stuff is highly addictive ! It's a tsukemono, J-style pickles. This one is a cousin of the picalilli. You can eat them with rice, tofu… or how you want. For instance, directly from the bowl, barefoot in front of the fridge in the middle of the night. A dinner with Yamagata no dashi This is not the run of mill tsukemono at your local sushi shop, but a regional specialty. Of course, I can buy some in Osaka but that's expensive. Ing … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Quick dashi from scratch… or from fish flakes

Fish flakes… I am cheating, I could start with a block of dried fish and shave it, but I don’t do that. You can buy this “kezuri katsuo”, bonito flakes in Asian grocery stores.

Dashi is the stock. It will take 2 minutes of your time to do it. That’s a basic for decent Japanese cooking.
What’s wrong with instant dashi ? Not much, only MSG, preservatives, flavoring and higher price.
This is one recipe, among others. I use a combo of 3 ingredients, each one could be used alone.

If your Asian grocery is sophisticated, or if you are in Japan, there is a choice of different fish flakes. The taste varies. Usually, the dark color and thicker flakes give a dashi with a stronger taste. The nearly transparent flakes give a delicate flavor.

Kombu seaweed. It’s dry too. The full name is “dashi kombu” as it is so regularly used for dashi.
The white dust is salt, pass a humid cloth on it to clean it off before using.

Niboshi, iriko… whole dry fish. They are very small (2 cm). Some are a little larger, in that case, you can see a black part in the tummy, it’s a little bitter, take it away before using. No need here as you can see. They give stronger taste than the flakes. Well, it’s different. That’s why I use a mix.

1 : In a sauce pan, put 1 hand-full of flakes, 1/2 of dry fish and one small piece of kombu seaweed. Add 4 cups of water. Program your stove for 5 minutes on 2/3 of power. Forget it 20 minutes.
2 : Pass it. The fish and seaweed can be eaten (see below) or not (that’s called wasting).

Here you have dashi, Japanese all purpose stock.

Quicker trick : You can buy empty paper dashi bags (like paper tea bags, which you can use too), and fill them with the ingredients. Store them in the box, so whenever you need dashi, you throw one in a pan of water, or even in the pitcher of your electric coffee maker.

Making dashi…’t! (Obanazawa no dashi)

CAUTION : This stuff is highly addictive !

It’s a tsukemono, J-style pickles. This one is a cousin of the picalilli.
You can eat them with rice, tofu… or how you want. For instance, directly from the bowl, barefoot in front of the fridge in the middle of the night.

A dinner with Yamagata no dashi

This is not the run of mill tsukemono at your local sushi shop, but a regional specialty. Of course, I can buy some in Osaka but that’s expensive. Ingredients to make yours are cheap (or even your free leftovers).
Why that name ?
I made little research. You may now the word だし “dashi” that means stock (like fish stock). This is another one, a dialectal word, with an intonation at the end. It is *spelled* だしっ “DASHI..’t” to mark the difference it. It’s a specialty of the town Obanazawa in Yamagata prefecture (山形県尾花沢市), so you can also say “Yamagata no dashi” or “Obanazawa no dashi” .

Principle :
-Cut several raw vegetables in mirepoix (very small cubes)
-Season with salt, soy sauce, sake or mirin.
-Flavor with seaweeds, fish stock, chili pepper, ginger…

If you wanted to keep it several weeks or without refrigeration, you would have to be very rigorous with proportions of salt and alcohol. Pickles are very salty for preservation purpose. But your will eat it in a few days (hours ?) and store it in your fridge, so season it at your taste.

What veggies ?

Classic :
Cucumbers, shishinto (Japanese green sweet chili), aubergine, nagaimo (yam potato), onion, myoga (baby ginger), sesame leaves, daikon radish…
Modern :
Okra, shiso (perilla), bell pepper, tomato, chili peppers, goya, carrot, small radish, zucchini, celery…

Making my dashi…t

CUTTING
-Cut aubergine (make slices, then sticks, then cubes), red onions, bell pepper. Add a little salt, reserve.

-Rinse quickly a wedge of kombu seaweed. Let it 30s in 1/4 cup of water. Cut it (it’s easier with scissor as that’s a bit like paper).

-Cut shiso leaves, red chili, ginger, and molokheya (I have cut the leaves much more than on the photo to make it “liquid”).

MIXING
-Combine the vegetables.
-For 1 cup of vegetables, add 1/4 ts natural sea salt, 1 tbs of nama shoyu soy sauce, 1 tbs of sake, 1 tbs mirin.
-Stir well. Cover.
-> ->
WAITING
-Keep in the fridge, you can eat it after a few hours.