Dashi or fish broth is a very important component in traditional Japanese cooking. It is used in soups, stews, boiled vegetables and many other dishes. It is not hard to make at all, but it is one step you have to take before you cook food.
Today a lot of Japanese people use powdered dashi as a shortcut (similar to bouillon cubes). However, powdered dashi is not as flavorful as the real thing, and it usually contains MSG. So, here at Japanese Cooking 101, we cook Dashi in a more traditional way using dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi). Dried bonito flakes can be easily found at Japanese supermarkets or online stores.
You can use the bonito flakes not only for Dashi but also for sprinkling on other dishes like okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake, yum!). Your cat might also like to share them with you 🙂 So don’t worry, you won’t waste them after you make Miso Soup once.
- 4 cups water (960ml)
- 2 handful of dried bonito flakes (or 4 small packs of dried bonito flakes)
- Boil water and then add dried bonito flakes in a pot. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain it. Use it as instructed in recipes.