Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Donabe New Year 2011 - Day 1 Dashi Making

Happy New Year - 明けましておめでとうございます!
I wish all of you a healthy and delicious year.

New Year is the biggest holiday in Japanese culture. We make special new year dishes called, "Osechi Ryori", and have a celebration meal on January 1. This year, we are going to have special new year dinners two days in a row. January 1 is just Jason and myself at home, and January 2 is with friends. So I have a lot to cook for the 2-day feast.

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The very first task of my new year was to make dashi stock with the classic-style donabe. To me, it's very important to make a fresh batch of dashi stock on the day, instead of making it ahead of time. Shaving the dry bonito (I use a premium kind called, "Hongare-bushi", which is the hardest kind of dry bonito) is a fun labor. After more than 15 minutes of shaving, I finally got the enough amount of shaved bonito for dashi.

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Kombu is also a special "Rishiri Kombu" from Hokkaido. It's very thick. After the kombu was removed, freshly shaved dry bonito was added and infused.

The beautiful dashi stock was made (the picture is the half amount of what I made). The aroma was so soothing and just gorgeous. You can find the basic dashi recipe on toiro's website.

Happy donabe life 2011!