Now you’ve got making your basic miso paste sorted, you can move onto making delicious dashi stock. It’s a little complicated, so you can actually skip these first steps if you want to cheat and just use a sachet of dashi stock powder. Dashi is made from dried fish flakes from the bonito fish. Most of these ingredients can be found in Asian food stores, health food stores, organic stores and even major supermarket chains.
10cm piece of kombu seaweed
15g of katsuobushi (bonito flakes) which is roughly a handful
750ml of water
3 tablespoons of miso paste (you can use less, just add it gradually to taste)
1 spring onion
Piece of cooked carrot, sweet potato, cubes of silken tofu (optional)
A few pieces of dried wakame seaweed (optional)
Wipe down your piece of kombu, but don’t rinse it. Snip it in a few places to help it release flavour and place in a saucepan with the water. Allow to soak for half an hour.
Bring the kombu and water to a boil. Turn off heat, remove kombu. Add a half cup of cold water to the pot and the fish flakes. Bring back to the boil and then remove from heat. Allow the fish flakes to settle to the bottom of the pot. Strain the stock through a sieve, but don’t squish the fish flakes.
Replace the stock back into your pot and start heating. As it is heating, take a cup of stock and dissolve the miso into it. Return this to the pan, but now do not let your soup come to the boil again. Boiling miso will lose its properties and flavour. If using wakame seaweed, soak in cold water for 10 minutes then squeeze out the water and chop into small pieces. Add into soup with cooked vegetables and tofu to heat through gently.
Distribute into bowls and serve immediately.
Vegetarian/Vegan ‘Dashi’ Stock
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
15cm piece of kombu
A few pieces of wakame seaweed
2 tablespoons of sake
2 tablespoons of mirin
½ teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Wipe the dust from the kombu and snip it in a few places to help release the flavour.
Add your kombu to a pot with the water and shiitake mushrooms and allow to soak for at least an hour.
Bring the pot almost to the boil then remove kombu. Add the wakame and bring to the boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Add the sake, mirin, sugar and soy.
Strain the mixture through a sieve and finish making the soup as above.