When it comes to Japanese food certain ingredients are the very essence of almost all Japanese cuisine.
We can never underestimate the significance of dashi, which is made from sea kelp and dried bonito.
Saccharina Japonica (konbu) and other Pacific species of kelp are a very important ingredient in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines.
But equally as important is Niboshi which are small types of dried fish such as sardines. In sushi these types of fish are referred to as Hikari-mono.
Variations of these small shiny silver fish appear in different forms throughout Japanese cuisine.
Tazukuri are small sweet and savory sardines served for the New Year and then adding a mixture of shoyu, sugar and mirin with sesame seeds.
The best effect when using these types of fish is when you add them to water and bring it to a slow simmer, and then cool it down and let rest for up to 24 hours.
This can be used for preparing miso soup, or can be used in preparing an expanded version of dashi.