Dashi (Traditional Japanese Cooking Stock)
December, 2006

Makes 4 cups / This smoky, flavorful stock serves as a base for many Japanese dishes. Ingredient tips: Look for kombu (a dried sea vegetable) and bonito fish flakes in the market's international-foods section. A 1-ounce bag of bonito flakes contains about 8 cups loosely packed flakes. Ready-to-use dashi is also available at Asian grocery stores in liquid or powder form; or you can substitute low-sodium vegetable stock or broth.

1 4x4-inch sheet kombu
4 1/2 cups cold water
4 cups large, loosely packed bonito fish flakes

1. Place kombu in a medium saucepan. (Do not wash or wipe off the whitish powder; it abounds with flavor.) Add water and bring almost to a boil. Immediately remove kombu to prevent liquid from becoming bitter.
2. Add bonito flakes and heat on high. When liquid returns to a boil, immediately turn off heat and let flakes rest in liquid for 2 minutes. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Avoid pressing on the flakes to prevent stock from turning cloudy and bitter.
3. Refrigerate dashi, covered, for up to two days.

PER SERVING (1 cup): 43 cal, 0% fat cal, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 8mg chol, 8g protein, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 60mg sodium