Shōjin dashi is also a vegetarian stock, but it is a true dashi in the sense that it depends on synergy to attain a perfect umami taste. As in all other Japanese dashi, glutamate is obtained from seaweed (konbu), but 5’-ribonucleotides are obtained from guanylate in dried fungi, especially shiitake mushrooms, rather than from inosinate in fish. It is important to use dried mushrooms, as these have a greater concentration of guanylate than fresh ones.
Rinse the mushrooms and soak them in cold water for 5 to 6 hours. To speed up the process, you can shred the mushrooms before soaking them. Strain the resulting extract and reserve it. As for first dashi, soak the seaweed and then warm it to 60°C (140°F) for about half an hour. Remove the seaweed and mix in the extract from the mushrooms. The shōjin dashi is now ready for use, for instance, in a consommé with vegetables and tofu.
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