Shiitake Dashi (or Shītake no Dashi)
The stock used in Japanese cooking is called dashi. Unlike European broths that are long-simmered, dashi is more of a quickly-made savory tea. The most common dashi is made from shavings of dried bonito, a type of mackerel. However, vegetarian dashi also exists, as it is required for Buddhist temple food. In this case, we’ll use dried shītake mushrooms for our base. Make this first and keep it on hand until needed.
FOR MORE ABOUT BENTO AND ITS COMMON RECIPES, SEE JAPANESE BENTO.
• 4 cups water
• 6 dry shiitake mushrooms
• One 3x7-inch kombu piece
1. Soak shiitake and kombu in hot water for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms and kelp. Reserve the shītake for later recipes.
Jeff Nekola has a PhD in Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has a passion for biodiversity in its many forms, whether it be plants, butterflies, and land snails in the wild or crops grown in gardens, orchards and fields, or the use of those foods as expressed by the entire range of humanity's cuisines. You can learn more at here.
Linda Fey's first and finest childhood memories are of helping her mother and grandmother in the garden and then bringing in freshly picked produce to the dinner table. As an adult, she has over 20 years of experience in market gardening and teaches middle-school English at the Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science. Visit www.LindaFey.com to view her writing about food and life.