Kitchen Culture

tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese Kitchen

DASHI various stocks


Extracting UMAMI (savory flavor)

The generic word for STOCK in Japanese is DASHI 出汁 written with calligraphy for "extract" and "liquid." In the Japanese kitchen, the simplest dashi is made by extracting savory flavor from kombu (kelp) alone. The best way to do this is to soak kombu in water for at least 15 minutes (30 minutes or more -- even overnight -- is better). There are four varieties of kombu that are regularly used: Rausu 羅臼, Hidaka 日高, Rishiri 利尻 and ma 真 (pictured above left to right). To find out more about the differences among kombu varieties and how to best make stock from them:

Many stocks are made with a variety of dried fish and vegetables either on their own, or in combination with each other, in addition to kombu.

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