So after some internet scouring and a handful of test runs, I've got some questions about making basic konbu/katsuobushi dashi. All the recipes I've found have you soak the konbu awhile, bring it just to the boil, then cut the heat and add X amount of bonito flakes. Steeps for a few minutes, then strain and use. Some folks then tell you to make second dashi with the same solids and new water. However, every batch I've made is very delicate/mild, bordering on flavorless. Is there a reason not to simmer the first batch for longer? In Japan, alone, for the holidays and wanting to perfect my miso soup, donburi, kare raisu, etc... Any thoughts?
Well, obviously the first question is: are you using enough of either?
I use a *lot* of katsuobushi ((aalthough not ass mucch aas Ireon Chef Well, obviously the first question is: are you using enough of either?
I use a *lot* of katsuobushi and allow the kombu and katsuobushi to sit for a long time. I also add some dried shitaki mushrooms during the cooking, slice thinly and add them to the strained stock - a rule of thumb for me is to allow the mushrooms to fully rehydrate before straining. If I'm really feeling fancy I'll add a little dried onion while cooking and strain them out too.
I don't do second dashi. Just soak the kombu and cook with the bonito flakes strain and add other ingredients like mushrooms, miso and green onions.