Making dashi 1

Ichiban dashi

Ichiban dashi (primary dashi) is delicate tasting with an exquisite aroma. Rather than being made in advance, it should be made just before it is needed and served the moment it is ready, for its full, delicious aroma. Ichiban dashi is mainly used in those dishes where fragrance is the crucial factor, in particular clear soups and broths. The ichiban dashi made below is a basic recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 L soft water
  • 100 ml water
  • 20 g ma kombu
  • 80 g dried bonito flakes (bonito honkarebushi, chiai removed)

Method

Preparation method

  1. Place the kombu in a pan with the water and leave to soak. Allow about 1.5 hours in winter and 20-30 minutes in summer. If using a large pan go straight to step (2), as the kombu will have enough time to soak as the water heats.
  2. Heat until just before it reaches boiling point. Aim to take it out at the point at which small bubbles appear in the pan. If the kombu is left too long, it will spoil and thus taint the dashi.
  3. Pour 100 ml water in to ensure that the temperature is just below 100°C.
  4. Turn off the heat and immediately add the bonito flakes. When the flakes sink to the bottom of the pan, remove the scum that has risen to the surface.
  5. Strain the dashi through cotton cloth immediately.
  6. The ichiban dashi is ready to use.

Recipe by Takashi Tamura, Tsukiji Tamura