Tuesday, 23 January 2018


Last week I bought kombo for the first time in years. Now I am making dashi, both simple kombodashi and bonitodashi, the most basic bouillon for Japanese cooking.
Kombodashi is water with a piece of kombo seewead. Bonitodashi is water with kombo and flakes of a dried fish called bonito. The combinations, the variations and amounts are numerous. No salt.

I have combined dried seaweed with different amounts of fish flakes in differently tempered water and with varying length. The kitchen and the fridge are filled with pots.
Some of them have a weak sense of the sea, others strongly fishy, some a mild combination and neither is disgusting. If we had had a cat, it would have loved me.

I will used the different concoctions for different purposes to see if I can understand the flavours and reactions it creates in the food.

I already cooked sushi rice with bonitodashi and it was marvellous. The best I have ever made.
Possibly even the best I have even eaten.
The fish, the wasabi, the gari, even the soy sauce - completely superfluously. I could eat with my hands out of the bowl standing in the kitchen and be eternally happy.
This was a rice to remember.

I also have cooked a sort of Japanese bouillabaise or hot-pot called Chiri nabe. I used one of the weaker kombodachis and I added a lot of vegetables for more flavour. It looked fine when served. Then I had to add salt. And soy sauce. Then sesame oil. And then we just closed our eyes and ate it with a sandwich with cheese afterwards. Not good at all. A meal to remember.
I will try it again with different dashi, different fish, different vegetables and definitely a different day (with a big dessert prepared).

So far a bonitodashi (brewed, cooked and stewed with the Viking secret recipie) is the favourite.