Kombu Broth (Vegetarian Dashi)
Soaking the kombu overnight releases almost all of the kombu's flavor without concentrating it, while bringing the kombu water to a boil releases some of the kombu's thickening power. The result is a heartier kombu broth, perfect for vegetarian soups.
MAKES: 4 Servings
PREP/COOK TIME: 15 minutes (after overnight soak)
- 4 cups water
- 2 (2-inch) pieces kombu
- 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
Soak the kombu: Combine the water and kombu in a 1-quart or larger saucepan and soak the kombu for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Bring it to a boil: Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer and then remove the kombu from the water just before it comes to a full boil.
Add the mushrooms and simmer: Add the shiitakes, if using, and let the broth come to a rapid simmer. Continue simmering for about 1 minute.
Steep the shiitake mushrooms: Remove the saucepan from heat and let the shiitakes steep in the broth for 5 minutes more.
Strain the broth: Remove the shiitakes from the broth (save for making miso soup or another recipe). Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl.
Storage The cooled broth can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Adapted from one of Martha Rose Shulman's amazing recipes