This is a deeply colored and flavored broth that is particularly suited to thick white noodles. Unlike the more delicate stock made from bonito shavings, this soup freezes well.
Place the dried mushrooms and kelp in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil rapidly, discard the kelp, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the stock uncovered for 15 minutes.
Break off and discard the heads of the dried sardines (they tend to be bitter), add the bodies to the pot, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
Strain the stock through a cloth-lined colander, discarding the mushrooms and fish. Season the dark broth with soy sauce, sugar and saké.
Serve with thick white noodles in either of the following two recipes.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.