Dashi—a light, umami-rich seaweed broth—is the cornerstone for so many Japanese dishes, including miso soup. Rather than bones or shrimp shells, this dashi broth from Eric Wolfinger gets its body from kombu (a type of seaweed) and katsuobushi (dried, smoked bonito flakes).
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2 quarts room-temperature water (preferably mineral, such as Volvic or Crystal Geyser, or filtered water)
1 ounce kombu
1 ounce katsuobushi
How to Make It
Pour 2 quarts water into a medium saucepan, and add kombu. Let stand until kombu doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Cook over medium-low until water is steaming and tiny bubbles collect on surface of kombu. Adjust heat to maintain water temperature below a simmer, and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and add katsuobushi. Allow katsuobushi to settle at the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes. Pour liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard solids.
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