#27 Dashi だし

Twice a month, my friend and I organize the event, “Let’s talk about Kyoto in English and Japanese”. Today’s theme was Samurai.
I took memo of useful expression 🙂

(All from “Trad Japan” NHK publisher has copy right.)

A simmer dash of pike conger and matsutake mashroom, featured in an expensive kaiseki meal…
Standerd fare, such as miso soup and soba… All these dishes use some type of dashi, cooking stock.

One common dashi ingredient is a type of kelp called konbu. Over 90 per cent  of domestic wild konbu comes from Hokkaido.

Konbu can grow to five meters long or more. A special tool is used to twist the kelp growing on the seabed and hoist it out of the water. The freshly harvested konbu is immediately dried in the sun. This concentrates one of the compounds responsible for umami, or savoriness, in the konbu.

Simply soaked in water and heated, konbu releases its umami flavor components. It’s important not to overdo the heating; otherwise bitterness with be imparted to the stock.

It was in the 18th century, after a new maritime route from northern Japan to Osaka was developed, that Hokkaido konbu became commercially available around the country. There are still many shops in Osaka that specialize in konbu. People in the Kansai region tend to enjoy delicately flavoured dishes, so konbu-based dashi is very popular there.

An equally common dashi ingredient is katsuobushi.

Katsuobushi is made from bonito. Fillets are first boiled and then smoked to reduce their moisture content. The fillets are then treated with mould because it helps to drive out moisture even more and also break down fats. This method was developed about 200 years ago. After six months of curing,  the fillets are a mere one-sixth of their original weight. Packed with umami, the katsuobushi is now ready for consumption.

Katsuobushi blocks are shaved into fine flakes. The larger the surface area of these shavings, the more effectively the flavor components will be released. The flakes are placed in boiling water, and the heat is turned off immediately. After about one minute, the liquid is strained. To create dashi from bonito requires many steps and a great deal of time and care.

Since ancient times, the Japanese have been making great efforts to enrich their culinary culture, and the unique types of stock they’ve invented-collectively known as dashi- are infused with their wisdom and ingenuity.

1. domestic flights 国内線

tools はナイフやハンマーなど職人が手に持って作業を行うための道具
instrument は正確さを必要とする科学的な作業を行う道具
implement は特定の目的にかなうように作られた特殊な道具
utensil は台所用品など家庭でつかう道具
The abacus is still widely used in Japan as a calculation tool.

3. releaseは「〜を解放する」が原義。CDをrelease する、釣った魚をその場で逃がすのを「catch and release」。
Koboku regrant woods release a pleasant aroma.

When the air is dry, tatami mats release the moisture they have absorbed.

4. overdo 〜をやりすぎる
Kendo provides excellent exercise, but overdoing the practice can hurt your joints.

5. maritime 海の、海上自衛隊はthe Maritime Self-Defense Force
During Edo period, maritime transport was strictly regulated under the isolation policy.

6. equally 同様に
In Judo, etiquette and throwing skills are regarded as equally important.

7. treat A with B 「AをB でもてなす」
treat him with respect 「敬意をもって彼を遇する」
Items that have been treated with lacquer have a distinct gleam.

8. culinary 料理の
culinary skill 料理の腕前
Kaiseki ryorui is regarded as Japan’s consummate culinary art.

The invention of soy sauce was a landmark in Japan’s culinary history.


(All from “Trad Japan” NHK publisher has copy right.)




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