THE ULTIMATE GUIDE OF DASHI
What is dashi?? How to make dashi? Is there any health benefits of dashi??
In this blog & video, I will answer all sort of questions about DASHI!
Topic 1: Introducing 4 different kinds of DASHI 2: Health benefits of DASHI 3: How you can make DASHI easily and quickly and realistically 4: Delicious recipes by using DASHI as a major component
<INTRODUCING 4 DIFFERENT KIND OF DASHI>
Kombu is the type of kelp. 90% of kelp we have in Japan is actually produced in Hokkaido area since kelp only grows in low temperature ocean.
The flavor is quite delicate, so I usually paired with lots of vegetables for boosting extra flavor.
katsuo is a bonito fish in English. We eat it as a sashimi when it’s fresh. Katsuo has a very strong fishy flavor, hence it will make the soup very flavorful.
Katsuo has been smoked , dried , then shaved into thin slices and finally become katsuobushi. Katsuobushi is the ingredient we are using for making katsuo-dashi.
Without these time-consuming steps done by professionals, we won’t be able to enjoy this beautiful katsuo-dashi at home. That's the beauty of Japanese ingredients. There is always someone's effort behind. I'm very appreciated for this.
3; AWASE-DASHI (合わせ出汁）
Awase literally means <combining> in Japanese. Awase-dashi is the combination of konbu seaweed and bonito flakes. Konbu has a glutamic acid and bonito flakes has a inosinic acid. They are both categorized as one of the UMAMI elements. UMAMI is approved as a fifth taste sensation. When those two are combined together, UMAMI taste will go up to 7~8times stronger than solo by synergistic effect.
NIboshi is a small dried sardines. Niboshi is slightly fishy but more budget- friendly than bonito flakes and kelp. I sometime use for miso soup, but mostly use for making Ramen or whenever I want to enrich the taste to the dish.
5; HOSHISHIITAKE-DASHI (干し椎茸出汁）
Hoshishiitake is a dried shiitake mushroom. I usually pair with Konbu- dashi for making plant based soup stock. My kids doesn't like shiitake mushroom itself, but they love this soup somehow.
I’m showing how to make each dashi in video, so please go to my YouTube channel!!
<HEALTH BENEFITS OF DASHI>
There are two reasons based on what I studied and experienced.
1; You can reduce the amount of oil & sugar by in-taking more of dashi.
There are 3 taste elements which people can be biologically addicted with.
SUGAR, OIL, and UMAMI.
Dashi is packed with Umami flavor from fish, seaweed, and vegetables. If you start to enjoy more Umami flavor, you will naturally crave for less sugar and oil contained products.
It’s been said that if you introduce UMAMI taste to your baby before turning into 3 years old, the baby will pick up the Umami taste more than those who haven’t been introduced. It means there is more chance to reduce the amount of sugar and oil on their eating habits because the Umami is as addictive as sugar and oil to human beings.
2; More chance to stick to the ideal nutritional balanced dietary habits
When I make Japanese food, the first thing comes in my mind is what can go along with bowl of rice and soup.
When I make something go long with bowl of rice and soup, I usually use less oil. Instead of sauteing with butter, I just steam and boil.
Moreover, I do usually make 1 main dish + 2 side dishes using different protein and vegetables.
Each takes no minutes to make, but well balanced overall.
<HOW YOU CAN IMPLEMENT DASHI MAKING INTO YOUR DAILY HABIT WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT?>
To be honest, I don't make dashi from scratch every single day. However, I don't use dashi powder since the flavor is quite far from the one from scratch.
Then, HOW do I cook???
The answer is a dashi packet.
Inside of dashi packet, there are chunk of bonito fish, konbu, shiitake mushroom , dried sardine. What’s inside varies depending on the products you are choosing for.
How do you make DASHI with dashi packet?
All you have to do is, put dashi packet in water and bring it to a boil.
Once you bring it to a boil, lower the heat and simmer it between 4-6mins depending on how strong you want the taste to be. Longer you simmer, the more flavor will come out.
Shake your dashi packet to release more flavor and discard from the soup.
That’s it! You already have a beautiful dashi stock.
The reasons why I like this dashi packet!
1; there are options for lots of flavors. Other than bonito flakes and kelp, you can find the one with shiitake mushroom and kelp which are perfect for the plant based cuisine.
2; You can easily find the one without additives and salt. I want to enjoy as natural as possible.
<RECIPES WHICH CONTAINS DASHI>
Taking about myself, I used to skip meals and eating snacks as a substitution. I was especially craving for sugar like chocolate and cookies. They are all so addictive and couldn’t stop.
It was OK because I was still very young. However after passing mid 20’s , I start to feel myself bloated, heavy and lack of energy. Then I started to focus more on traditional Japanese eating style.
Since then, I’ve been making dashi stock plus eating fermented products everyday. It becomes part of my life now. I feel energetic everyday and I haven’t seen the doctor for more than 10 years with taking care of two crazy boys. haha
Remember, this is just one way of how I maintain myself and my family to be healthy.
Each of you has your own way of what works best for you.
Hope everyone to stay healthy and happy!