1. Prepare the katsuo-bushi and konbu
Use thinly sliced katsuo-bushi. (Thick sliced ones take time
to bring out the taste, so we will not use it this time.)
If possible, place the konbu in water and let stand for 30 minutes beforehand
to bring out the taste smoothly.
Prepare a cloth or a kitchen paper and a sieve to strain immediately when
the dashi is ready.
* If you don’t have the time to soak the konbu in water, make
sure that you simmer the konbu dashi slowly as shown in process 2.
2. Place the konbu dashi over heat
After soaking the konbu in water, place the saucepan over
medium or lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes until it almost begins to boil.
Adjust the heat to do this. It is important to bring out the good taste of konbu
by heating up slowly.
The konbu will become soft after simmering for 10 minutes.
When you sink your nail into the konbu, it goes into the center easily. When
small bubbles appear in the saucepan and it begins to boil, check the taste of
the konbu dashi. If it’s ready, take out the konbu.
* Make sure that you do not boil the konbu dashi wihile the
konbu is inside the saucepan, otherwise the smell of konbu will become too strong!
3. Making the katsuo dashi
First boil the konbu dashi shown in process 2. Then pour one
scoop of water in the saucepan with a ladle or turn off the heat to stop the
dashi from boiling for a while. When it stops boiling, add the katsuo-bushi and
turn on the heat again. Wait until it comes to a boil.
The time to simmer the katsuo-bushi changes according to its use.
(1) When using for clear soup, simmer for 1 to 2 minutes and then strain through
a sieve so as not to bring out the unfavorable taste of katsuo-bushi.
(The dashi will come to a boil in less than a minute. Lower the heat and remove
the scum from the surface with a ladle. If it tastes good, turn off the heat).
(2) When using for other dishes or for miso soup, simmer for about 5 minutes
over low heat slowly. Remove the scum and strain through a sieve.
(This will bring out the strong taste of katuso-bushi. Check the taste and turn
off the heat).
When you strain the dashi, be careful not to move the saucepan around. If you
strain gently, the katsuo-bushi will stick to the inside of the saucepan. Be
extra careful not to squeeze the katsuo-bushi when making a clear soup.
（レシピ・写真： 冨田唯介 英訳： 中西 直）