Japanese DASHI culture

Today I will talk about Japanese dashi culture. Do you know Japanese dashi stock? What is dashi stock? I sometimes use it for home cooking.

What is “DASHI stock“?

Dashi is the soup stock taken by soaking the ingredients in water or boiling water. Each ingredient has a different subtle flavor. Dashi is a seasoning used for various dishes in Japan.

There are various kinds of dashi, and popular ingredients are bonito, kelp, niboshi(=dried small sardines), shiitake mushrooms, vegetables, and chicken, etc.
Bonito is a fish like a tuna called “katsuo” in Japan. Kelp is a kind of seaweed.

How is dashi cooked?

Japanese people often use dashi stock in their cooking, such as miso soup, stewed dishes, udon, hotpot, and ramen, etc. Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made with dashi, ingredients (tofu and brown seaweed are major) and miso.

I use dashi when I cook miso soup, but I often use dashi packs or instant broth granules. If you put this instant dashi into boiled water, you can make soup stock easily. My mother taught me how to make bonito dashi from katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) before, but I do not have time to make bonito dashi, so I usually use dashi packs and granules which are sold in a supermarket.

↑This is the most popular dashi sold in a supermarket. “Hondashi” by Ajinomoto

※If you click this picture, you will jump to Amazon.co.jp, a Japanese website.

Also, I sometimes use “mentsuyu” in cooking stewed dishes or udon instead of dashi. Mentsuyu is a seasoning made based on dashi, soy sauce, mirin (or sake) and sugar. It is cheap and sold in a supermarket.

↑This is the standard “Mentsuyu” by Yamaki

※If you click this picture, you will jump to Amazon.co.jp, a Japanese website.

My Recommended Shop: Kayanoya(茅乃舎)

Japanese style restaurants use dashi stock for various dishes, such as ramen, udon, ochazuke, and oden, etc. Good dashi makes me happy and relaxed! If you come to Japan, please feel the delicious taste of dashi from Japanese dishes.
Moreover, although it is not a restaurant, I recommend a dashi specialty shop, “Kayanoya (茅乃舎)”.

Kayanoya started in Fukuoka as seasonings and food company. Kayanoya is famous for additive-free seasonings. They have stores in department stores, shopping complexes, and airports as well. Although the price is not cheap, every product is very tasty, you can enjoy the taste of carefully selected ingredients.

I buy it mainly for gifts (my mother likes Kayanoya very much !), but I also sometimes buy it for myself. What I often buy is the dashi series and the dashi for nabe(a pot dish). Of course, there are also other seasonings such as ponzu (Japanese seasoning using citrus fruit juice) and mentsuyu, and freeze-dried food such as steamed egg custard or miso soup.

Kayanoya

You can taste dashi in the shop, so please visit Kayanoya! How about the dashi for a souvenir?
* Even if you can not come to Japan, it seems possible to use the mail order site “Kayanoya Online Shop USA” only when delivering to the United States.

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rice (Japanese OL)

Japanese OL. (OL means “office lady”. Women who work in offices.) I was born in a rural part of  Kanagawa prefecture (near Tokyo ) in the latter half of the 1980s. I was raised in Kanagawa and live and work in Tokyo now. I live with my husband. I study English by writing this blog!

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