What is Dashi?

Dashi is the base of Japanese food.
Let’s think about it deeper together.

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What is Dashi?

Dashi is the one of broth.
Broth is a soup which boils vegetables,meat,fish and removes them.
That soup gets Umami and aroma from materials.
But mainly Japanese Dashi are made from fishes like sea cabbage,dried bonito, dried small sardines or vegetables like dried shiitake mushrooms.

How to use Dashi?

Dashi has a lot of uses.
In Japanese restaurants, chefs prepare Dashi in the morning.
That Dashi taste is very important because it will be used in almost all dishes in that restaurant, and it will decide the taste of that restaurant.
Normally Dashi is used for a lot of food like some boiled dishes, soup, Japanese salada, etc…

Dashi taste changes by materials.
So sometimes chefs change dashi dishes by dishes.
Even the same material dashi taste changes depending on the way to get Dashi.

What kind of Dashi are there?

Dashi taste changes by material combination.
It is different how to get dashi with each material.
Let’s see what is different about each material.

Sea cabbage Dashi

Sea cabbage is one of the most useful materials for Dashi.
Dashi of ses cabbage has mild Umami and the smell of the sea.
It is widely used in cooking rice, miso soup, etc.
We use it just to wipe on tightly wrung cloth without washing.
It‘s called “Konbu Dashi” in Japanese.

Dried bonito Dashi

Dried bonito has deep bonito aroma in their delicate bonito taste.
It is widely used in boiled food,cooked food,soup,etc.
Ichiban-Dashi is the first broth to have an elegant aroma and taste.
Niban-Dashi is the second broth to have a rich aroma and taste.
They are used properly for each purpose.
It’s called “Katsuo Dashi” in Japanese

Mixed Dashi of sea cabbage and dried bonito.

This combination is very famous.
It is used in almost all home kitchens.
It can get a deeper taste by mixing each Umami and aroma.
Dashi grows by multiplication,not addition.
It’s an important point for thinking about dashi.
It’s called ”Awase dashi” in Japanese.

Dried small sardine Dashi

Dried small sardine normally used in some soup.
Unique rich taste and aroma is a feature not found in dried bonito and sea cabbage.
It removes the head and internal organs soak in water,let it stand for a while to bring out the Umami,then heat it.
It’s called “Niboshi Dashi” or “Iriko dashi” in Japanese.

Shiitake mushroom Dashi

It uses dried Shiitake mushroom Dashi.
There are two kinds of Shiitake mushroom: “Donko” is thicker and “Koushin” is thinner.
It is said that Donko is better used for Dashi.

Ago Dashi

Ago is the flying fish.it is also called “Tobiuo” in Japan.
Its flavor is delicate and gorgeous so it is expensive compared with others.
Ago dashi is mostly used in southern Japan.

Which Dashi is used for which dishes?

Basically there are no roles which dashi use for each dish.
But there are good combinations.
Let’s use dashi with good combinations if you make Japanese dishes.

Which dishes area good combination with Sea cabbage Dashi?

*Hot pot dishes
*Simmered food
*Miso soup
*Japanese style clear soup
-It’s a clear sea cabbage dashi that is seasoned with soy sauce and salt.

Which dishes are a good combination with Dried bonito Dashi?

Ichiban Dashi (first broth)
*Miso soup
*Japanese style clear soup
*Chawan-mushi
-It’s a steamed egg custard with assorted ingredients.
*Mentsuyu
-It’s a Japanese noodle soup base.
Niban Dashi (Second Dashi)
*Simmered food
*Takikomi gohan
-It’s seasoned rice with some ingredients, basically with vegetables or seafood.

Which dishes are a good combination with Mixed Dashi of sea cabbage and dried bonito?

*Simmered dishes
*Hot pot dishes

Which dishes are a good combination with dried small sardine Dashi?

*Miso soup
*Ramen noodles

Which dishes are a good combination with dried shiitake mushroom Dashi?

*Simmered dishes
*Chinese food

Which dishes are a good combination with Ago dashi?

*Japanese soup dishes
*Chawan-mushi
*Ramen noodles
*Udon noodles
-It’s a thick Japanese noodle made from wheat flowers.

Above are examples.
The interesting part of Dashi is that the combination is infinite.
Also, it’s usually better to use multiple Dashi than to use alone.
Japanese chefs use multiple Dashi if they hope for a deep flavor in dishes.

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