Chicken Dashi

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Meat dashi’s are pretty rare in Japanese Cuisine.  Here in the United States chef David Chang has made his bacon dashi infamous in culinary circles.

This Dashi can be made more luxurious by replacing the chicken bones with duck bones.

3 pounds 5 ounces chicken bones
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 scallions, white part only
3 1/2 ounces carrots
1 3/4 ounces of ginger
1 cup sake

14 3/4 cups cold water

Remove any bits of fat from the chicken bones. Rub the salt into the bones and set aside for 1 hour to allow salt to penetrate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the scallion stalks in half and carefully char them over a gas flame on the stove or under the broiler. Wash and roughly slice the unpeeled carrots and ginger.

Transfer the hot roasted bones to a large stockpot and add the rest of the ingredients. Quickly bring to a boil, then simmer until the stock is reduced by half, skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

Remove the bones from the pot, and pass the stock through a fine sieve.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Vegetarian Dashi

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8 cups cold water
14 ounces of vegetable offcuts and peelings from 4 different kinds of vegetables such as carrots, daikon, Chinese cabbage, pumpkin, turnip, etc.
2 slices of root ginger
3/4 ounces of konbu

Place all the ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer until reduced by half.

Strain through a fine sieve and use as needed.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Shiitake Mushroom Dashi

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5 cups Vegetarian Konbu Dashi Stock
11/4 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon caster sugar
pinch of sea salt

Add Vegetarian Konbu Dashi Stock to a pan until hot but not boiling, then remove from the heat.

Add the shiitake mushrooms, sugar and salt to the hot konbu dashi and let them soak for 2–4 hours. Remove the mushrooms, reserving them for another recipe.

Strain the dashi into a bowl avoiding any sediment or grit from the bottom of the pan.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Vegetarian Konbu Dashi Stock

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11/4 ounces konbu
5 cups cold water
pinch of sea salt

Gently wipe the konbu with a damp cloth. Add the konbu and water to a pan, cover with a lid and let it stand for 8 hours or preferably overnight. The longer the soaking time, the more flavoursome your stock will be. At the end of the soaking time, remove the konbu from the water, add a pinch of salt and mix well. The konbu dashi is ready to be used.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Niboshi Dashi

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This Dashi is a much stronger flavored version than the bonito and konbu dashi.  Excellent for Miso Soup and Ramen.

Pluck off and discard the fish heads, open up the fish stomachs and remove and discard the insides. Place the prepared fish in a pan with the measured water and konbu, or with the Traditional Fish Based Dashi, and leave to soak for one hour.

Bring the water quickly to a boil, skim off any scum that rises to the surface and simmer very gently for 6–10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pass through a very fine muslin-lined sieve.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Traditional Fish Based Dashi

11/4 ounces konbu
5 cups cold water
2 cups dried bonito fish flakes

Gently wipe the konbu with a damp cloth. Fill a pan with the  water, add the konbu and leave it to stand, covered, for 6–8 hours. Remove the lid and, on a low heat, bring the water to a near boil.

Remove the konbu just before the water boils as it will give off a strong smell and bitter flavour if boiled at this point.

Bring the stock to a full boil then immediately add the dried bonito flakes, remove the pan from the heat. Do not stir and allow the flakes to settle to the bottom of the pan for a few minutes, skim any foam from the surface. Pass the dashi through a muslin-lined sieve without pressing it.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Stocks & Sauces Terminology

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Bouquet Garni: Fresh thyme, parsley stems, bay leaf, a few peppercorns tied together in leek greens.

Deglaze ( Déglacer): To loosen sucs from the bottom of a roasting pan using liquid: water, stock, vinegar, wine or juice.

Dégorger: To soak bones to remove blood to help produce a clearer, cleaner stock.

Degrease (Dégraisser): To remove grease from the top of a stock or sauce with a ladle or metal spoon.

Mirepoix: Equal parts of onions and carrots uniformly Cut, or 50% onions, 25% carrots, 25% celery or equal parts onions, carrots and celery.

Moisten (Mouiller): To Add water to bones and aromatics to produce a stock.

Mother Sauce (Sauce Mères): Group Of basic sauces of the Classical French repertoire.

Mount, to (Monter): Swirl in butter or other emulsifying agent to enrich the flavor and texture, gives a glossy finish.

Pass (Passer): To strain or pass a stock through a chinois.

Plug (Tamponner): To dot the top of a sauce with butter to prevent the formation of a film.

Reduce (Réduir): To boil a stock or sauce until the volume is reduced.

Remoisten (Remouillage): To Add water to cooked bones to extract their maximum flavor.

Roast (Rôtir): To cook in direct, radiant heat in the dry atmosphere of a preheated oven.

Simmer (Frémir): To cook gently so bubbles just break the surface.

Skim (écumer): To remove coagulated blood and impurities from a stock through skimming them off the top with a ladle or skimmer.

Sucs: Caramelized proteins that form on the bottom of a pan as ingredients are browned.

Sweat (Suer): To cook vegetables in a small amount of fat so that the ingredients cook in their own juices without taking on any color.

Winnow (Vanner): To stir a stock or sauce, either while it is cooking or in an ice bath, to facilitate cooking or cooling.