Shiitake Dashi

A gentle steep is the best way to coax the sweet umami–without any bitter notes–from the kombu and shiitakes in this all-purpose dashi.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
Yield:
4 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushroom caps (about 2 1/2 cups, or 22 caps), rinsed well

  • 1 ounce dried kombu (about 1 [9-inch] square, halved)

  • 1 ounce dried smoked bonito flakes (katsuobushi) (about 3 cups) (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine 6 cups water, shiitakes, and kombu in a 3-quart classic-style donabe. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat mixture, uncovered, over medium-low until steaming but not simmering (about 140°F), about 10 minutes. Cook 15 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to prevent simmering. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove and discard kombu.

  3. Stir in dried smoked bonito flakes, if using, and continue cooking over medium-low until flavors are infused, dashi has a light smoky flavor, and liquid has reduced to about 4 cups, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving shiitakes for another use.

Make Ahead

Dashi can be kept in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

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