Dashi is one of the staple preparations in Japanese cooking and makes a wonderful base for soups. Here, its savouriness boosts a chicken stock to build a richer flavour with minimum fuss.
- 35 gm bonito flakes (see note)
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 15 gm finely grated ginger, juice squeezed out and reserved, solids discarded
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce, or to taste
- 1 tbsp sake, or to taste
- 1 small bunch broccolini, cut into 4
- 150 gm mixed asian mushrooms, such as shiitake, enoki, shimeji and oyster, torn or sliced if large
- 300 silken egg tofu (see note) or silken tofu, thickly sliced, at room temperature
- few drops of sesame oil
- thinly sliced spring onion (optional), to serve
- 1Bring bonito flakes and 500ml water to a simmer in a saucepan, then remove from heat, and stand to infuse for 5-6 minutes. Strain, pressing all liquid out of bonito flakes, then return liquid to pan. Add chicken stock, bring to a simmer, add ginger juice, soy sauce and sake and season to taste. Add broccolini and simmer for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms and simmer until broccolini and mushrooms are tender (1 minute).
- 2Divide tofu among serving bowls, add a few drops of sesame oil, ladle in soup and vegetables, scatter with spring onion and serve.
Bonito flakes are available from Asian grocers. Substitute 1½ tsp dashi powder, available from select supermarkets. Silken egg tofu is available from select supermarkets and Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: A small ochoko (sake cup) of earthy yamahai sake.
Drink suggestion by Max Allen