It’s been a long long time since I have mentioned about those GLORIOUS FOOD!!! Yup especially the soup that my family loves so much. But before soup, like I have always mentioned, you will need a good base stock and the stock that I will sharing today will be the dashi stock.
Dashi stock is a clear cooking stock, considered fundamental to Japanese cooking and all you need is 2 main ingredients- the konbu seaweed and the bonito flakes (I used the slices ones) to prepare it, although I also used the 3rd ingredient-the niboshi (dried baby sardines) all the time too.
Niboshi (S$21 per 100g) is a few times more expansive than our chinese dried ikan bilis and it has a more distinct sweetness to it as well, where else the chinese dried ikan bilis has a more plain saltish taste to it. However, I am always very careful when buying the niboshi. I never ever buy the off-shelves ones for the fear of it staying already too long the shelves thus causing it to turn slightly rancid with a strong smell of old musty oil (not sure if you get what I mean though?)- These will give you a nasty stock. I will usually wait for the Japanese Food Fare at Isetan Scotts. They will usually have aplenty of it, selling it by the weight, freshly packing it up and sealing it up in front of you. Most of all, I will always get to taste a couple of these dried fishes to make sure that they do not taste or smell rancid, and then I will stock it up and store them in my freezer. They stay for up to a good 1 yr in the freezer.
Anyway let’s come back to dashi stock. This is the stock that makes your miso soup, shoyu noodle broth, cold soba dipping sauce and I even use it as a soup base to cook our slice fish/ meat ball congee. And because it is so simple, so easy, so fuss free and most importantly OIL-FREE(also low-calorie) plus loaded with the calcium, minerals and iodine from the niboshi and konbu and the smoky aroma from the bonitos, this stock is a hell load of goodness for the women and growing children.
Below is my recipie that I am sharing.
- 500ml Water
- 10g Niboshi, rinsed (optional to have)
- 10g Konbu Seaweed, wiped with a damp cloth
- 10g Bonito Flakes
Method (with step-by-step photos)
- Bring the niboshi and water to a boil.
- Place in the konbu and bonito flakes.
- Cover and let it seeped / soaked for 30mins-60mins.
- Strain and the stock is ready to use.
See that’s how easy it is and usually by 30mins, the stock is already very flavourful. I have been making it so very often that the dashi stock is already an instant fix to cook noodles for supper when all my boys are calling out in hunger. Oh yes, do not be surprise that my boys do make me cook at 11pm at night, when I have already bathe, done my facial mask and all the nighlty routines. 😦 Spolit aren’t they? And because its that easy, I no longer feed my family with instant noodles (unless my hubby and I have a craving for it)
Now what I have shared with you is the ichiban dashi. This is known as the 1st stock where you use the stocks for miso soup or noodle broth. And because the ingredients are rather expansive here in Singapore, After straining out the 1st stock, I will usually add somemore hot water to re-extract more goodness out of the niboshi, kombu and bonito flakes already used for ichiban-dashi. This is known as the niban-dashi. This is good for stews and sauces. I sometimes even boil my broccoli and other greens in it to give it that smoky aroma.
I know you will ask me why so troublesome when there are instant packages of dashi granules around. I am seriously not sure how nice it taste as I have never used them before. But I know that some are also packed with MSG though you can try to look around for those MSG-free dashi powder. And also once you have made your dashi from scratch, it is so addictive that you might perhaps not look back again.
My World of Dashi Stock
My hubby’s favourite wagyu beef bowl with miso soup
My boys’ favourite lava egg with somen in dashi stock with a dash of soya sauce.
Meatball congee cook in dashi stock to give that distinctive smoky favour.
And Yes!! That’s Clemens asking for supper in the middle of the night.
P.S: Did I mention that you can keep these stocks in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze them for up to a month?
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