The katsuobushi in first and second dashi can be replaced by small dried fish such as anchovies or sardines, known as niboshi, which are a more robust and stronger-tasting source of inosinate. The heads and stomachs of the dried niboshi should be removed before use, as they will otherwise impart a bitter taste. Soak konbu and niboshi in cold, soft water for about half an hour. Then heat the solution to the boiling point. Skim off any froth that may form on the surface and pour the solution through a fine-mesh sieve to strain out the solid pieces. Niboshi dashi is a strong-tasting, robust stock, which is most suitable for miso soup.
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