There are many variations when making dashi and each chef tweaks his own dashi the way he believes it is most intriguing. The importance of dashi in the pantheon of Japanese food cannot be overstated, dashi is the basis of nearly all Japanese flavors and is used in multiple dishes for most meals.
I have been making dashi for twenty years and make it by adding those ingredients I feel gives the best flavours. I am using an organic bonito that and has no blood (dark areas) where the rib bones are connected to the fillets before fermenting.
Making dashi requires a touch and taste to get the balance you feel makes it perfect. I add handfuls of katsuo and some ni-boshi, later adding some shoyu, mirin and sake to get the dashi tasting the way I like it. In the end it’s very personal and depends on the dish you prepare. It’s the same for sake, some sake should be more in the background to position the dish in the foreground. All of this is a learning curve.
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