The first extraction is the finest, yielding the clearest, most delicate dashi. Place the seaweed in water, preferably soft, for about half an hour. Then warm the liquid to a temperature of about 60°C (140°F) and keep it at that temperature for half an hour. It is easiest to do this using a water bath. Remove the seaweed and heat the liquid to 60–70°C (140–160°F), and then add the katsuobushi flakes. When the flakes have sunk to the bottom, skim off any froth that has formed on the surface and quickly strain the liquid through a very fine-mesh sieve to remove the fish flakes. The dashi is now ready for use, for example, in a consommé.
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