This is a follow up on my vegetarian dashi recipe as most of the time dashi stock in Japanese cuisine is a blend of katsuobushi and kombu. As mentioned in my previous post, you can have a variation between dried kelp (kombu), dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi), dried shiitake mushrooms and small dried fish for dashi.
Katsuobushi is a Japanese dried, fermented, smoked skipjack tuna. Back in the day, a block of katsuoboshi would be kept at hand and when needed; they would simply shave off what was needed on a wood plane. If you are a die-hard traditionalist you can still purchase blocks of this tuna and make shavings for yourself at home. Not only is it used for stock, it can be added to enhance flavors as a seasoning, topping, and stuffing. It also has an aesthetic effect when placed on hot foods; the thin shavings start to move and and shrivel down.
Katsuobushi is easily found in the Japanese and health food stores and its flakes are usually sold packaged in a transparent sealed bag. It's also rich in umami flavors especially when combined with kombu in this stock.
INGREDIENTS//Yields approx. 1 liter
• 1 liter water
• 1 piece kombu (about 12- inches long)
• 10-15 grams katsuobushi
In a bowl, steep your kombu in a litre of water overnight or at least 15-30 minutes beforehand.
Fill a large pot with the llitre of water and the steeped kombu.
Bring it to a simmer and just before it comes to a boil, fish out the kombu.
At boiling point, quickly add the katsuobushi and turn off the heat.
Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the katsuobushi sinks to the bottom.
Strain the stock for use right away or let it cool and pour it in a container, seal tightly, and then refigerate for another time (holds up to 3-4 days).
Such as the Kombu dashi stock recipe, the ingredients can be re-used right away to make a second stock referred to as niban dashi. The first stock is usually stronger in flavor and is referred to as ichiban dashi.