I always keep this dashi on hand. Triple the recipe if you like. It freezes well so you’ll never be caught short. This recipe comes from Just One Cookbook blog and website. It is my go to place for all foods Japanese. Yield: 4 cups
1. Gather all the ingredients. Most Japanese recipes would say to gently clean the kombu with a damp cloth. However, these days, kombu is pretty clean so just make sure it doesn’t look musty. DO NOT wash or wipe off the white powdery substance (Mannitol), which contributes to the umami flavor in dashi. Make a couple of slits on the kombu, which will help release more flavor.
2. In a medium pot, put the kombu and water. Turn on the heat to medium-low heat and slowly bring to almost boil, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, clean the dashi by skimming the surface.
3. Just before the dashi starts boiling gently, remove kombu from the pot. If you leave the kombu in the pot, the dashi will become slimy and bitter. Add the katsuobushi and bring it back to a boil again.
4. Once the dashi is boiling, reduce the heat, simmer for just 30 seconds, and turn off the heat. Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom, about 10 minutes.
5. Strain the dashi through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl or measuring cup (Reserve the katsuobushi and see below for what to do with it). Awase Dashi is ready to use.
To Store: If you are not using the dashi right away, store the dashi in a bottle or mason jar and keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.
Optional: Niban Dashi (Second Dashi)
1. In the medium pot, put 2-4 cups* of water and previously used kombu and katsuobushi from making the (first) dashi. Bring it to a boil over medium-low heat. *2 cups would make stronger dashi.
2.Remove the kombu just before the liquid comes to a boil, then lower the heat, and cook for 10 minutes, skimming occasionally.
3. Add an additional fresh ½ cup (5 grams) katsuobushi and turn off the heat. Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom and strain the dashi through the fine-mesh sieve.