Dashi is one of the most popular ingredients of Japanese cuisine and in the west it is most commonly associated with miso soup, of which it is the main ingredient. What people don’t usually know, is that this flavoursome stock is actually made using katsuobushi, which is dried, fermented, and then smoked, skipjack tuna. Fortunately for us, there are plenty of plant-based ingredients that combined together will create a dashi that tastes just as good as the traditional one, so that we can leave the tuna where it belongs, in the sea.
- Pour the water into a bowl, tip in the dehydrated mushrooms and let them soak at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. Once the time is up, you can remove the mushrooms from the water and use them as you please, as they are not needed for this recipe.
- Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with a piece of wet kitchen paper.
- To prepare the second stock, place the water into a saucepan and warm it up until it starts steaming and you see small air bubbles appearing on the sides and bottom of the pan. If you want to be fancy, use a thermometer and bring the water to 80°C (175°F).
- Once the water is at the right temperature, tip in the Kombu, cover with the lid and let it to infuse for 1 hour before moving on. Strain the second stock by using the same method as the first.
- Mix two parts of kombu stock with one part of shiitake stock to obtain the shojin dashi.