In Japan, dashi stock, which is usually extracted from dried bonito, konbu seaweed, dried sardines or shiitake mushrooms, plays such a central role that we could call it the soul of Japanese cuisine.
Most Japanese people feel a great sense of comfort whenever they take a sip of clear broth made with delicious dashi. This stock lends that umami flavor that has recently been drawing attention the world over.
What is umami anyway?
Scientifically speaking, it is amino acids that give that delicious umami taste.
Three amino acids — inosinic acid found in dried bonito and dried sardines, glutamic acid found in konbu seaweed, and guanylic acid found in shiitake mushrooms — are the major umami components of Japanese cuisine.
These three components synergize to produce the subtle harmony of flavors that makes Japanese food taste so good.
An easy dose of essential nutrients
Dashi doesn’t just taste good; it’s wonderfully nutritious too! That’s because all the nutrients from the base ingredients get absorbed into the stock.
These include the B vitamins folic acid and niacin, which support the healthy functioning of the body by activating the metabolic cells, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium which help remove excess waste matter from the body and support cell regeneration.
So, by incorporating dashi stock into your cooking, your can get all the nutrition of a large volume of food in one compact liquid dose!