Kombu Dashi (Brady Williams, Canlis)
After my recent macho haggis-posturing, I feel the need to make amends with something I actually still make and eat. My search for the perfect dashi took me many places, not least to Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, by Shizuo and Yoshiki Tsuji
, which is an encyclopedic, recently updated tome encompassing all Japanese cuisine.
But I always suspected that kombu and kasuobushi might extract best at different temperatures, and my search finally brought me back to Brady Williams of Canlis
, right here in Seattle. This is a clean rip-off of his recipe, which I suspect could only be improved by giving the weights in grams, so that the actual amount of katsuobushi could be specified. A sous vide
circulator is obviously the easiest way to make this, but the temperatures are not as critical as when making - say - beer.
8 cups cold water
1 ounce or 2"x15" kombu
2 TBS katsuobushi
(fermented, cured, dried, shaved bonito flakes)
Soak kombu at 140F for 1 hour, remove and save for second/small dashi or another purpose
soak 2 TBS katsuobushi at 180F for five minutes in same liquor, strain, and use for something else. Add soy sauce and mirin to taste.
The result is perfect dashi, but if you're not a purist and fancy amping it a bit more, gut and add some ikan bilis
along with the katsuobushi, but leave it in for twenty minutes. This makes a flavourful mashup of Japanese and Korean dashi.