Dashi is the mainstay fish broth of Japanese cooking, acting as the foundation of many dishes, such as miso soup. It is most often made with bonito and seaweed, but many cooks opt instead to use instant dashi granules dissolved in hot water.
At Japanese markets, you can buy packets of vegetarian dashi mix, but the recipe offered here is simple to make and much more full-bodied. Kombu is a form of dried, edible kelp. Wakame is a kind of dried seaweed whose leaves expand in hot water. All of these ingredients are available at Hana Japanese Market in the District.
Bragg Liquid Aminos is a liquid concentrate made from non-GMO soybeans and amino acids. Soy sauce is a reasonable substitute.
Make Ahead: This broth is a great substitute for vegetable or chicken broth in most recipes. It can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for up to 6 months.
Servings: 4 cups
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 ounce kombu, cut into 3-inch pieces (see headnote)
- 1/4 cup wakame (see headnote)
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce (see headnote)
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Remove from the heat, then add the kombu, wakame, mirin, sugar and liquid aminos or soy sauce.
Cool completely, then strain, discarding the solids. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Adapted by food writer and former chef David Hagedorn from a recipe by chef Alison Swope at Teaism in Old Town Alexandria.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.