If you’ve never made Dashi before, it can sound rather intimidating – but trust me, it’s not. It’s a super useful ingredient for making Japanese style soup dishes and packs a serious umami punch. Some dashi is made using fish ingredients, but kombu dashi uses kelp and is entirely vegan. Here’s how to make my tomato dashi variation:
Combine the Ingredients
Starting with a good 1.5l of water, we’re going to use just a 2 inch square of kombu. Kombu is a type of dried kelp that is responsible for miso soup’s distinctive umami flavour. A little goes a long way, so don’t go crazy. Add it to the water along with the tomato puree, soy sauce, and shiitake mushrooms
Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the Kombu
Kombu is super potent and if you leave it in the dashi for too long while it’s boiling, you’ll end up with a seriously bitter stock which will ruin the flavour of your miso soup. Using tongs, remove the kombu from the dashi, and set aside. You can allow this to dry out naturally and then use it again for another recipe.
Add the Tomatoes
Now that the kombu is out, it’s time to beef up that fresh tomato flavour. I advise using tinned plum tomatoes since they’re already peeled – which saves you a job! Just drain off the tomato juice in the can, chop up the peeled tomatoes and place them into the dashi. Bring back to the boil and allow to simmer for 15 mins.
Strain the Dashi
After 15 mins, we now need to strain off the vegetables and kombu from the dashi. Just pour it through a sieve then transfer it back to the saucepan. And there you have it! You’ve got yourself some tomato Dashi! You can allow this to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Whenever you want soup, just heat it back up and use it as stock, or continue with the remaining steps of this recipe!