To continue on our exploration of making dashi, the quintessential Japanese ingredient, let’s explore another dashi recipe, shitake kombu dashi!
I recently shared my method of making kombu dashi at home. Very easy to do, with a very simple flavor, and it’s a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans. However, since it’s really nothing but kelp broth, the sea flavor can be very strong. I like to mix it up on occasion by adding other ingredients to balance out the kombu. Adding shitake mushrooms give it a more complex, woodsy flavor, and if the recipe you’re using it in calls for mushrooms, you can use the mushrooms in the dish as well!
Recipe – Shitake Kombu Dashi:
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yields: 4 cups
- 6 inch sheet of kombu
- 2 dried shitake mushrooms
- 4 cups water
There are two ways to make kombu dashi, soaking or boiling. Both are really easy, but you may prefer one over the other. I rarely ever boil the kombu, since soaking takes minimal effort and it’s so easy to just throw it in a jar until you’re ready to use it!
To make it by soaking:
Take your strip of kombu and gently wipe it clean. You’ll notice little white flakes on it: don’t wipe it off, they are called “mannitto” or “umami seibun”, and occur naturally as part of the drying process. They are basically salt deposits, so it helps contribute to the flavor!
- Break it into several pieces, then soak in the water.
- Throw it in a jar with the mushrooms, then let it sit in the fridge overnight! Let it soak for at least ten hours, then it’s ready to use!
To make it by boiling:
- Soak the mushrooms in a little bit of the water for about 30 minutes until softened.
Transfer the water and mushrooms in a medium sized pot and add the kombu and remaining water. Turn the burner on to a medium heat. It should take about 20-30 minutes for the water to come to a boil. Keep an eye on it, and right before it boils, remove the mushrooms and kombu (otherwise it will turn bitter!) Drain the water to remove any tiny particles, and it’s ready to use!
Do you you have any other recipes you want to learn how to make? If so, let me know! If not, いただきます! (Let’s eat!)Cooksnaps