One of the ingredients I've been experimenting with in cooking Japanese food is dashi kombu (Japanese kelp).
I've been eating and enjoying seaweed forever. And like it wrapped in sushi, simply roasted, or as Canh Tao/Rong Bien (Vietnamese Seaweed Soup). Though my first two attempts with Shio (Japanese Salt) Ramen and Shichimenchou (Japanese Turkey Bone) Ramen were OK, I knew my broth needed an extra oomph.
The best way I could describe using kelp in soup stock is that it provides a natural savoriness without overpowering the broth.
Combine the kelp with shaved bonito flakes and you have the quintessential Japanese stock for ramen, miso soup, udon, or any other soups. Sometimes I add tiny dried anchovies too, but the kelp and bonito flakes are musts.
A little goes a long way. About a 3-inch square piece of kelp is enough to flavor a 5-quart stock pot.
Sometimes though, I don't have time to simmer and create a proper stock. In which case, I cheat with Ajinomoto Hon-Dashi, bonito fish soup stock. Tony of Sinosoul introduced me to this instant stock which dissolves almost instantly and gives a flavorful, smoky taste to any broth. Think of it as bouillon for Japanese soups. I use about 1 tsp Hon-Dashi granules per 1 quart of water.
Hon-Dashi is sold in individual packets or one large 5-oz package for about $5 at the Asian grocery store or a little more via Amazon.
Other pantry ingredients can be found in Peek in My Kitchen.
1 year ago today, Jones Coffee Roasters - Pasadena.
2 years ago today, Thit Bo Kho Mang (Vietnamese Braised Beef with Bamboo Shoots).
3 years ago today, Grapevine Mediterranean Cuisine - La Verne (Closed).
4 years ago today, dangling strings and finishing up some quilt projects.