Japanese food (dashi:soup stock, I recommend Kayanosha-dashi!)


Everyone when you hear the word ‘Japanese food’, what comes to mind?
Maybe almost of you will answer it is ‘Sashimi or Tempura’ at first.
I think that it is very natural.
However, I’d like you to know that in Japanese food there is actually not only something like taste of sashimi and tempura but also basic taste called ‘dashi’ (soup stock) with the true taste of Japanese food.
In Japanese food, soup stock is one of the most basic, most important ingredient.
The taste of suimono (typical soup of Japanese food) depends on the soup stock; therefore, it is more important than anything else to prepare good soup stock.

When we cook Japanese food, two kinds of soup stock is used mainly.
One is made with dried bonito, and the other is made with konbu (kelp:sea tangles).
The Japanese soup stock can be grouped into these two categories.
It is said that the person who can make these two soup stock well before everything
else is a person who understands what Japanese cuisine is. Yes, a few years can be needed before everyone calls him a good cook.
Of course the various kinds of soup stock is used for seasoning of the Japanese food besides, too. For example, the dried small sardines becomes the raw materials of delicious soup stock.  And we mix some raw materials of the soup stock and often make one soup stock. It is made from sea kelp, shaved pieces of dried bonito, shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes), dried small sardines, and so on.

First, I explain the soup stock from dried bonito.
The dried bonito is one of the traditional fermentation preserved food
of Japan,  and is the food that a bonito is smoked by a special method.
This is one of the important ingredients of Japanese food that has a long history.
The production areas of the high quality dried bonito are decreasing in number recently.
It is so hard, then we usually shave off pieces of bonito thinly with a special plane and put the shavings into hot water and extract taste.
To extract the soup stock from dried bonito put shaved pieces of katsuobushi (dried bonito) into a pot of hot water and then immediately turn off the flame; when the shaved katsuobushi sinks, strain the extract-seeped hot water. It is dried bonito soup stock.

We make use of this soup stock in taste, and use it for the seasoning of a fish and the vegetable dish, and so on.

The dried bonito which is already sharpened thinly and became easy to use is sold in plastic packs recently in a supermarket. Therefore many people use it in cooking light-heartedly.  It is called ‘hanakatsuo’(hana:flowers, katsuo:bonito). It is very delicious to attach only some hanakatsuo and soy sauce to the tofu, and to eat.  I love to eat boiled spinach sprinkled with hanakatsuo.

The next is explanation of the soup stock made from kelp:tangles which is another important soup stock.
The konbu has production areas in each place, however, Hokkaido is known for its production of konbu. Especially Nemuro is a major konbu production ares.
After being dried, kelp:sea tangles is widely used for making soup stock in Japanese
food.   Kombu cut to a mouthful size is used in cooking.
We use this soup stock for a dish in the same way as dried bonito dashi.
Konbu is laid in the bottom of pot, when we do food served in a pot (hot pot dishes: naberyouri).  The stock made from tangle is said to smell of seaweed.However, it is sure that you are getting used to it immediately.  It is also sure that you gradually come to like that taste.

The technique to generate soup stock based upon dried bonito or konbu has progressed.
Delicious Japanese food is becoming more and more delicious.
And taste the soup stock; dashi, please enjoy a lot of Japanese food.

Ithink that dashi(soup stock) made by Kayanosya is the best dashi I recommed in Japan.

This is a speciality producer of dashi which is one of groups of food industry named Kubara-Honke in Fukuoka, Kyusyu.

They handle very various kinds of soup stock.
Kayanosha manufactures and sells the source of the soup stock because they would like to have many people take delicious soup stock easily at home. Those are sold in many department stores in Japan.
Although you can get just several kinds of the product  by mail order, please enjoy the taste of them.
Three kinds of following soup stocks are sold  by a mail order to foreign countries.

原料:焼きあご、かつお節、うるめ鰯、真昆布、海塩 (全部日本産)
The ingredients:Grilled flying fish, dried bonito; round herring, giant kelp and sea          salt.    (Those are all Japanese  made products.)
一部に小麦・大豆が含まれます。    Wheat and the soybean is included in a part.
This is free from the antiseptic, the preservative, a chemical seasoning
and a synthetic
These are crushed finely and are squeezed up in a paper pack.

使用方法 Usage of this powdery soup stock
A:紙パック1袋に水400ml 沸騰後1~2分後に袋を取り出す。
•I use 400 ml of water for one bag of paper pack. I take out a bag after boiling 1-2 minutes later.
紙パック2袋に水500mlとすると濃い味になります。•When I use 500 ml of water for  two bags of paper packs, the taste      becomes heavily (strong).
•This is soup stock. Please use this soup stock as soup.
・I tear this small sack and put one cup of teaspoon of the powder of the inside in boiling water and eat it as soup.
・I tear a paper sack and use all the contents as seasoning. I use this for the seasoning of the vegetable dish for 2-3     people.

原料:うるめいわし、真昆布、干し椎茸、焼きあご、海塩 (全て日本産)
The ingredients:round herring、giant kelp、Shiitake mushrooms、grilled flying fish and sea salt     (Those are all Japanese made products.)
Wheat and the soybean is included in a part.
This is free from the antiseptic, the preservative, a chemical seasoning and a synthetic additive.
•The contents of all other commentaries are the same as 1. mentioned above.

原料:タマネギ、ニンニク、セロリ、人参、きゃべつ (全て日本産)
The ingredients:Onion, garlic, celery, carrot, cabbage  (Those are all Japanese made products.)
These vegetables minced finely are in the paper pack.
It is consomme-like taste.
This is free from the antiseptic, the preservative, a chemical seasoning and a synthetic additive.
•The contents of all other commentaries are the same as 1. mentioned above.