Beef Dashi Oatmeal

Dashi (だし, 出汁 ), I find, is the Japanese word for soup/broth. Any broth, not just the seaweed/bonito broth everybody thinks of when they say dashi. I wanted to make some traditional dashi, but I was out of dried bonito flakes, and don’t you just hate it when that happens? That’s OK. There’s a perfectly legal dashi made from just seaweed. I had already done that, and it was good, but I wanted more. Well, what would a Westerner substitute for tuna? Beef!! It will add the same kind of umami overtones to the seaweed, only without the fish aspect — so you lose all the omegas and fatty acids and such. On the other hand, you get — Beef!

So I opened a quart of boxed beef stock and dropped in a sheet of kombu seaweed, and left it in the fridge overnight. The combination of the dark seaweed and the dark beef stock refracted through the cylindrical plastic container made for an absolutely black and evil-looking brew.

In the morning, I pulled a cup of the beef dashi for my oatmeal, and put the rest in a pot to come to a not-quite-boil and then cool. If anything interesting ensues, I’ll let you know.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of beef dashi broth. No salt, but a teaspoon of soy sauce.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove..

Results: Interesting. The beef is a little strong for the kombu. I could taste the kombuness of it and the combination produced was interestingly complex. Next time I might cut it 50/50 with water.

Rating: *****


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