Japanese seafood broth

Kombu is edible dried kelp. It is the origin of the word "umami" now accepted by most Westerners as one of five basic tastes. It is also the origin and source of MSG.

Kombu works very well by itself steeped in water for ten minutes or so to form a sort of thin tea. It's also the base a wide range of other dishes including miso, shitaki mushroom soup, fish soup, noodle soup, tofu, and various fish items, and dishes using flour for grilled items. The gentle taste is reminiscent of the sea.

Bonito is described online as a type of dried and aged skipjack tuna but it's actually a type of mackerel, an oily strongly flavored fish, my favorite type of sushi and sashimi.

Kombu and bonito together make an excellent broth. I tested several types of bases for bouillabaisse and kombu bonito dashi wins.

(Until I used the head and bones of a large red snapper. That was awesome.)

Here I'm having it as a sort of seafood tea. Very simple to make, easier than preparing a pot of coffee.

I honestly do not comprehend why this simple arrangement hasn't swept the world. When it comes to seafood, Japanese have their act down. Emphatically. There is so very much they have to offer the world so far as cuisine, and they're so quiet about it. No bragging at all. They own this category.

My kombu languished unattended for a year. It dried to brittle layers that could not be separated. I damped the whole pile and the layers lifted apart. 

Stored in a new package, crystals form on the surface that are wiped off with a damp cloth. If this step is ignored then the result will be somewhat bitter. 

A small piece is snipped with scissors to increase surface area.

Use as much bonito as you like. I've seen chefs grab large handfuls 

You can elaborate this broth however you wish to any extent that you like. You can load it vegetable, more seafood, noodles, tofu, shellfish, miso, whatever strikes your fancy. Check out Google images for ideas [dashi].

Today I'm keeping it simple. 

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