Kombu dashi is a kind of Japanese vegetarian stock. Kombu means kelp or seaweed, and this version of Japanese vegetarian stock is made from dried kelp or seaweed. It is suitable for nabe (one-pot dishes), nimono (simmered dishes), as well as sauces, such as ponzu, and soups like miso soup. As you will note, making kombu dashi couldn't be easier. All you need is water and kombu, and it takes well under an hour with minimal work.
The kombu used to make dashi can be used to make other dishes as well, such as sashimi in which it is eaten fresh and tsukudani in which it is simmered in soy sauce and a kind of rice wine not unlike sake (known in Japanese as mirin). In addition to dried kombu, the edible kelp also comes in a vinegar-pickled and a shredded form.
- 4 cups of water
- 8 inch kombu (dried kelp, cut in half)
- Wipe the kombu with a clean cloth. (Kombu shouldn't be washed.) Put water in a deep pot and soak the kombu for about 30 minutes.
- Place pot over low heat. Just before the water comes to a boil, remove the kombu. (You can save the kombu to use in other dishes.) Remove the broth from the heat and either use immediately or store in the refrigerator for later use.