Dashi is also known as Japanese soup stock, but it is much more than that. It is the basis of many Japanese dishes. Of course it can be used as a base for miso soup or noodle broth, but it is also commonly used to stew meat, make sauces, or to cook fish or vegetables. In an article in The Japan Times, Dashi is referred to as the foundation of all savory Japanese cooking.
How Dashi Is Made
There are different forms of Dashi but the most common form is a simple broth that is made by heating water with kombu and kezurikatsuo. Kombu is a type of kelp and kezurikatsuo is large shavings of katsuobushi which is dried blocks of skipjack tuna. Kombu and kezurikatsuo are both rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. The kombu is also high in dietary fiber. The dried kombu and katsuobushi are heated to near boiling, then the liquid is strained.