Dashi (だし, 出汁) in many ways defines Japanese cuisine with the subtle elegance of its simple ingredients.
In its basic form, dashi is a broth made by extracting flavors from ingredients by boiling them. Yet the beauty of this simplicity is its ability to enhance and harmonize the flavors of the other ingredients it’s paired with, creating a dish that is more than the sum of its parts.
Used daily by most Japanese home cooks and master chefs alike, this unassuming broth adds umami, the taste best described as “deliciousness”, to many aspects of Japanese cuisine.
This Dashi: "Umami" Care Package includes traditional Japanese ingredients to make your own dashi at home, as well as a in-depth guide to dashi, its relationship to umami and "deliciousness", recipes, exercises, storage tips and more, with contributions from a local Japanese cooking expert. This will help you to experiment with your own taste preferences as you learn to reset your palette and trust your natural instincts when cooking.
90% of Japan’skonbu (thick edible kelp) is harvested in the mineral rich waters of Hokkaido.Tough and difficult to digest on its own, konbu must be cooked for a long time, which draws out its high level of umami.
Nagaike Konbu usesma-konbu (lit. “true kelp”) given its high quality, refined flavor and deep aroma. The resulting dashi is clean and clearand is a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
KATSUO DASHI (かつおだし) Prefecture:Shizuoka Producer: Katsuo Kobo Ingredients: Katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna from Makurazaki City, Kagoshima Prefecture) Size: 40g
Katsuo Kobo takes the extra long months and effort to ferment their katsuobushi intohonkarebushi('true' katsuobushi), using a traditional process that has been fading overtime. Reminiscent of the olden days when katsuobushi was shaved at home, the result is a flavor that is deep and aromatic, and is sought after by chefs throughout Japan.
Shiitake mushrooms are the base for this earthy, savory dashi that is made from rehydrating dried shiitake mushrooms (which can then be used for cooking).
Matsuoka Shiitake grows their prized shiitake for two years on kunugi(Japanese sawtooth oak trees) and then dries them for 24 hours to concentrate the umami flavors and rich aroma.
AWASE SHINISENO DASHI (老舗のだし) Prefecture:Osaka Producer: Nagaike Konbu Ingredients:Ma-konbu('true' natural kelp),katsuobushi(dried bonito) Size:10 packages (each makes 600ml of dashi)
Awase dashi,a combination of ma-konbu ('true' konbu) and katsuobushi (dried bonito),is the most commonly useddashi in Japan. These convenient to use packs include high-quality, naturalma-konbu and katsuobushi caught using a traditional fishing method to create a pure, sweet and mellow dashi.
Mentsuyu (lit. “noodle broth”) is a commonly used seasoning found in numerous Japanese dishes including noodles, rice bowls, hot pots and as a dipping sauce. Made from a collection of some of Japan’s most iconic ingredients, it's a convenient way to increase the depth of flavor in dishes.
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