Oatmeal Dashi

More experimenting with dashi (だし, 出汁 ), the seaweed/bonito broth used in most Japanese cooking. The symbol (出汁) for dashi is a combination of two kanji: 出, which looks like two stacked mountain symbols, means to go out, or departure (I’m leaving for over the mountains), while the 汁 symbol, which looks like it’s saying “water for ten”, means soup. So, soup you eat before going out.

I noticed that while all the dashi recipes have you remove the bonito flakes, to give a clear broth, there’s lots of uses that don’t require that. Since limpid is not a word one usually associates with oatmeal, I decided to add the bonito to the oatmeal, instead of to the dashi.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of water from a quart jug in which a slab of kombu seaweed has been soaking overnight, two fat pinches of bonito flakes, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the bonito about three minutes before you take it off the stove.

Results: Very good. Mild-tasting, with just enough fish flavor to offset the bland. You can spice it up with a drop or two of soy sauce, but be very sparing.

Rating: *****

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