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Dashi Kelp 101: How To Make Japanese Kombu Dashi At Home

how to make kombu dashi, dashi, Japanese dashi, kelp, dashi kelp Food & Recipes
Food & Recipes

The famous Japanese cuisine term today, (probably from iron chef?,) Umami and Dashi, correct?

As you know, Dashi refers to Japanese soup stocks that are used for a lot of Japanese cooking.

Kombu Dashi is one of the staple dashi made from Kombu (dried kelp) which contains a lot of glutamic acids and brings many nutritional values.

Unlike Awase dashi or Iriko dashi, kombu dashi has a mild and refreshing flavor but a more complex and distinctive taste.

Moreover, it’s vegetarian, vegan-friendly, enough to make you happy.

You can also freeze this authentic genuine Kombu dashi when making a big batch.

The Types Of Dashi Kombu (Kelp)

About 90% of Japanese dashi kelp is harvested throughout mainly Hokkaido, and along the Sanriku coast in Tohoku (Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi prefectures).

Ideally, these four types of Dashi kelp for dashi stock:

  • Ma kelp (Ma-kombu)
  • Rausu kelp (Rausu-kombu)
  • Rishiri kelp (Rishiri-kombu)
  • Hidaka kelp (Hidaka-kombu).

HAKODATE MA-Kombu

The thick wide dashi kombu. Also known for luxury kelp. It has an elegant sweetness and a clear soup stock.

Rausu Kombu

Known for luxury dashi kombu.

It is brownish and has a rich flavor. The dashi stock made of Rausu kombu is a supreme rich broth with a nice aroma and a soft yellow tinge.

RISHIRI KOMBU

The dashi stock is transparent and has a nice mild rich flavor, which is often used for traditional “kaiseki” cuisine.

It can be the best choice for the first try.

HIDAKA KONBU

Also called Mitsuishi kelp. It is dark green and blackish. Soft and easy to boil.

It has a slightly stronger seaweedy flavor.

How Much Kombu To Use For Dashi

The ideal ratio of water to dashi kombu is 1% Kombu dashi per water amount.

When you want to make 1 quart (4 cups) of kombu dashi stock, add 10g (about 0.3-0.4 oz).

As for the preparation before making dashi stock, you don’t need anything special such as making any notches outside of cleaning when following those steps below.

By making notches, it will be easier to lose umami flavor and likely to get slimy.

How To Clean Dashi Kombu

Wring wet towel/ paper towel and lightly wipe the surface of the kelp.

Do not wash and rinse in water to keep Umami ingredients.

Do not worry about the white powder/ spots on the surface are called mannitol, an umami ingredient.

Two Basic Techniques To Make Kombu Dashi

Cold Brew (Mizudashi)

The cold-brew method is easy, and the dashi stock will be a clear refreshing flavor.

Add dashi kelp to the water and leave it in a refrigerator.

Lid it on to prevent it from unpleasant scents or other food scents to the dashi stock.

Brew the dashi kombu in water for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight to infuse the natural umami flavor into the water, without a miscellaneous flavor.

The used kelp still has umami ingredients, so it is recommended to make another Kombu dashi stock or “Nibandashi” by adding dried bonito flakes.

Hot Brew (Nidashi)

The hot brew method can bring the dashi stock a richer Umami flavor than with cold brew method.

Add the dashi kombu and the water to a saucepan, and leave it for 30 minutes before boiling to easily bring out the umami flavor.

When boiling the water, over medium-low heat, cook the dashi kelp slowly, since the miscellaneous unpleasant flavor can bring out when the water boils shortly over high heat.

Remove the dashi kelp just before the water boils. Never allow the water (the dashi kelp) to a full boil for the same reason.

how to make kombu dashi, dashi, Japanese dashi, kelp, dashi kelp

How To Make Kombu Dashi Stock in 2 Ways: Japanese Basic Dashi

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
As you know, Dashi refers to Japanese soup stocks that are used for a lot of Japanese cooking. Kombu Dashi is one of the staple dashi made from Kombu (dried kelp) which contains a lot of glutamic acids and brings many nutritional values. Unlike Awase dashi or Iriko dashi, kombu dashi has a mild and refreshing flavor but a more complex and distinctive taste. Moreover, it’s vegetarian, vegan-friendly, enough to make you happy. You can also freeze this authentic genuine Kombu dashi when making a big batch.
Cuisine Japanese

Equipment

  • 1 wet towel
  • 1 clean container with a lid

Ingredients  

  • Dashi Kombu
  • 4 cups Purified water

Instructions 

With Cold Brew

  • Clean lightly the surface of the dashi kombu with a wet towel (paper towel).
  • In a clean container, add the dashi kombu and water. Lid it on. Let the dashi kombu be infused into the water for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Remove the dashi kombu after cold-brewing.
  • You can store the dashi stock for 3-5 days in a fridge.

With Hot Brew

  • Clean lightly the surface of the dashi kombu with a wet towel (paper towel)
  • Add the water to a saucepan.
  • Soak the dashi kombu in the water for 30 minutes.
  • Turn on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Turn the heat off and remove the dashi kombu just before the water boils.
    *Turn the heat off when the water starts boiling with the small bubbles rising. Do not allow the water fully to boil.
  • You can store the dashi stock for 3-5 days in a fridge.
Keyword dashi kelp, Easy, Healthy, Soup, Tips & Hack, Traditional, Vegan, Vegetarian

Make Miso Soup With Kombu Dashi Broth

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