Ichiban dashi

Dashi is a Japanese stock made from water, kombu seaweed and dried, smoked and fermented flakes of tuna known as bonito (or katsuobushi). It's used in many traditional recipes from homemade udon noodles or rice pots, to miso soup and tempura dishes, making it an absolute staple in Japanese cooking. While it's an incredibly simple thing it makes all the difference to the depth and umami of dishes, so knowing how a top chef like Endo Kazutoshi creates his is a fantastic insight.

'Ichiban' means it is the 'first brew' of the stock making it the most flavourful – after straining, you can make a second stock using the same kombu and bonito (known as 'niban') but the flavour will be milder.

First published in 2021
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

  • 1l mineral water, ideally soft mineral water
  • 8g of kombu seaweed, Endo uses five-year-old Hidaka kombu from Hokkaido
  • 32g of bonito flakes, Endo recommends pure white flakes without any blood lines to create a pure and clean stock

Equipment

  • Thermometer

Method

1

Begin by soaking the kombu the night before. Place the kombu in a pan with the soft mineral water. Cover, place in the fridge and leave overnight

  • 1l mineral water, ideally soft mineral water
  • 8g of kombu seaweed, Endo uses five-year-old Hidaka kombu from Hokkaido
2

The next day, place the pan over a medium heat and gently heat until it reaches 65-70ºC. At this temperature, remove the kombu and continue to heat the water until the temperature reaches 85ºC

3

As soon as the temperature hits 85ºC, turn off the heat and stir in the bonito flakes. Leave to infuse for 1 minute

  • 32g of bonito flakes, Endo recommends pure white flakes without any blood lines to create a pure and clean stock
4

Strain the stock through a colander and then again through muslin cloth into a container – it should be a beautiful clear golden colour. Use right away or store in the fridge until needed

First published in 2021
discover more:
share recipe:

Proving just how refined, world-class and mind-blowing an omakase sushi experience can be, Endo Kazutoshi's decades of experience in Japan intertwines with the best fish and seafood the UK has to offer.

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