Dashi is an all-purpose stock and seasoning used in soups (including miso), entreés, salad dressings, marinades, bastes, dipping sauces, and most widely as a noodle broth. Making dashi is a key to satisfaction in Japanese cooking. Dashi provides a characteristic balanced savory flavor (umami) that is common in this cooking style. There are many variations of dashi, just as there are variations of vegetable, poultry, fish, and meat stocks in the West.
The most active ingredient of dashi is kombu sea vegetable. Commonly dried shiitake mushrooms and/or dried bonito (fish) flakes are used with the kombu. Basic dashi is then flavored with shoyu, mirin, etc. There are many Japanese dishes that would lack their sought-after flavor without dashi.
Once made and seasoned to taste, dashi is wonderful for all types of pasta as a nourishing sauce. So used, it opens a new culinary avenue for pasta enjoyment and pasta dish creativity. Indicitve of this is the wide range of recipes using dashi for soba and udon dishes in Japan. Those dashi based recipes readily translate for use with, or in, Italian or American pasta dishes.
Ingredient Choices are Vital
Success or mediocrity of dashi is mainly determined by the quality of ingredients chosen. It is smart and important to use fine quality ingredients only from sources you can rely on such as EDEN Foods. Adulterated imitations are everywhere now, so your pre-purchase investigation will pay significant rewards.
Eden Foods manages trade with Japanese traditional food artisans and has since 1969. Some of the food categories are soy sauce, sea vegetables, misos, mirin, pickles, and condiments. Your enjoyment of them helps preserve valuable, culturally significant food production methods and lifestyles. As one of the largest and longest serving purveyors of macrobiotic natural foods in the world, we offer more than seventy-five of these remarkable foods.
- EDEN Macrobiotic Specialty foods are painstakingly crafted in centuries old ways without chemicals, coloring agents, monosodium glutamate (MSG), autolyzed yeast extract, synthetic enzymes, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), or toxic additives that are prevalent in modern, cheap imitations. Below are several EDEN macrobiotic quality foods used for preparing authentic Dashi Broth—
- EDEN Kombu - wild grown fronds from southeast Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. There they are bathed in mineral-rich Arctic currents producing kombu that is renowned for its superior qualities. EDEN Kombu is known as Ma-konbu, prized for an abundance of essential minerals, vitamins, trace minerals, natural glutamic salts, etc. There are many types of kombu. The white powder that appears on the leaf's surface is an exceptional flavor enhancer. It contains a natural, healthful glutamic salt that is not to be confused with industrially created glutamic salts like MSG. For more information click here.
- EDEN Kombu is hand harvested, washed, sun and wind dried on the beach before sorting, final rinsing and drying. Eden Foods selects the tender central part of the plant to package for the best flavor and texture.
- EDEN Whole Shiitake Mushrooms - the finest, small ‘donko’ grade, forest grown on oak logs, hand harvested and sun dried. Donko shiitake are known for their exceptionally delicious flavor and efficacy. Shiitake are revered as healthy food with a bounty of beneficial polysaccharide phyto-nutrients. They are rich in vitamin D with 25% Daily Value (DV) per serving. Photo Essay link
- EDEN Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms - grown on oak logs in native forest habitat, hand harvested and sliced before drying. Soaking times are reduced and the slicing style allows maximum chef creativity. Shiitake mushrooms are a rare, rich source of vitamin D.
- EDEN Bonito Flakes - the finest sashimi grade skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis, prepared using an amazing five-hundred-year-old method to make delicate, flavor rich flakes. Wild caught tuna, filleted, steamed, hardwood fire smoked, air-dried, aged, and shaved into thin flakes. They impart deep savory flavor to dashi.
- EDEN Macrobiotic Specialty foods are renowned for purity, efficacious phytonutrients, and superb flavor. EDEN Sea Vegetables are wild or traditionally cultivated and always hand harvested from environmentally protected sources.
Traditional Dashi is Quick
Dashi is easy and relatively quick, taking about 10 minutes to make. Once it is made, it is ready to be seasoned with an EDEN Shoyu soy sauce, Miso, and Mirin rice cooking wine for a variety of uses including soup, stew, and noodle broth.
Make extra and freeze or refrigerate some. Do this before adding the seasoning. Later, add seasonings like shoyu and/or mirin as you heat it for use. Click here for dashi recipes. They are free and shareable.
EDEN's Dashi Basket is a good way to experience authentic Japanese cuisine. It has the ingredients needed to create the dishes and flavors of Japanese cooking that are highly appreciated worldwide. The basket has EDEN Kombu, Bonito Flakes, sliced dried Shiitake, organic Shoyu soy sauce, Mirin, instant Wakame Flakes, two kinds of miso — Shiro (white rice) and Genmai (brown rice), and two traditional organic noodles — Soba and Whole Grain Udon. Recipes are included. Whether for a skilled Japanese chef or a novice, this is an excellent gift.