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:
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!