When I started to cook my first japanese recipes, I quickly realized that you need 4 basic ingredients for most of the recipes.
- Soy Sauce
If you have those 4 in your pantry you are ready to cook japanese.
Let’s talk about Dashi. Dashi is a broth made using a Kombu Kelp and flakes from Katsuoboshi (dried bonito fillet).
It is a very distinctive taste with what the japanese call umami.
Most of the people don’t prepare the stock with the single ingredients anymore.
Very popular, even in Japan are the instant dashi (they call it Hondashi) from Ajinomoto and other famous brands.
This is a picture of a small package you can find in a Hyaku Yen shop (a 1 USD shop).
Many people with complain there is MSG and other additives, but if you think that Kombu kelp already contains MSG naturally….
I think it is very practical if you need small amounts of dashi in a quick preparation.
But if I want a superior quality of Dashi, I have no doubts, my favourite is Kayanoya. (www.kayanoya.com)
Kayanoya was established in 1893 in a small village near Fukuoka.
They are preparing a dashi without any preservative nor artificial flavours.
This is the traditional one, sold in Teabags. The Ingredients are Grilled flying fish, Katsuoboshi, Round Herring, Kombu and some Japanese Sea Salt.
There is even a Kiwami Dashi (gold bag) which has special high grade Katsuoboshi.
Needless to say, they are absolutely delicious and worth the price.
While I did not manage yet to visit their slow food restaurant nor their head office store in Fukuoka, luckily they have opened branches across Japan, including Tokyo.