Monday, January 26, 2009

Dashi it to me (Dashi w/Shrimp & Rice Noodles)

Ahhh Dashi. I had never made this traditional Japanese broth before and I have found that I absolutely love it! It has been the missing ingredient in so many noodle soups, miso soups, or other Japanese dishes that just seemed to be lacking the oomph that you may experience from a meal at a Japanese restaurant. Dashi is made by simmering an 8 inch piece of konbu (which is a seaweed also known as kelp, very nutritious) in about 4 cups of water. Adding bonito flakes is optional, but I opted for it and found it added a nice depth of flavor (vegetarians leave these out). This broth can stand alone, or be the base for any vegetable or seafood soup.

Dashi with Shrimp and rice noodles (seen below)

1/12 lb med shrimp cooked and peeled (save peels)
2 1/2 cup dashi broth
½ oz dry shitake
3 Tbl fermented black bean sauce
2 Tbl ginger strips
4 med scallions
4 heads bok choy
½ lb button mushrooms
2 pakage rice noodles cooked and tossed in olive oil

Boil ¾ cup shrimp water and stir in BB sauce, Dashi.
Stir in veggies, cook for 20 minutes
Stir in shrimp, noodles, and scallions last and serve

Chop said it may have been the best soup he's ever had! The dashi broth when used as a base for miso soup was amazing too.

Health Benefits: Miso contains many trace minerals including zinc, manganese, and copper, which help to strengthen the immune system, boost energy, and protect bones and blood vessels. It is also a rich source of protein -- one tablespoon has 2 grams of protein and just 25 calories.

Studies have also found that substances in miso help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Note: Miso is high in sodium, so it may not be appropriate for those on low-sodium diets.

2. Seaweed

Seaweeds like kelp, wakame, arame and dulse are commonly used to make Japanese salads and are added to soups, stews and other dishes. Seaweed is also used as a wrap for sushi. Seaweed tastes similar to leafy green vegetables, with an underlying salty, sea flavor.

Health Benefits: Seaweed contains the broadest range of minerals of any food -- the same minerals found in the ocean and in human blood, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.

Seaweed also contains vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene, and pantothenic acid and riboflavin -- two B-vitamins needed for your body to produce energy.


jessiekate said...

Do you know how to gather seaweed here on Block Island that can be eaten? I LOVE seaweed salads and usually purchase the already made product @ Whole foods.... Also, this blog is great Persephone!

persephone said...


Just saw this comment! Yeah, there is lots of great edible seaweed around the island. I have not foraged for it myself, but Jen Lighty actually had a great business last year foraging and preparing seaweed for the farmer's market. I heard she'll be back at it this year so definitely look for it. You want to make sure that what you pick is fresh, so nothing that washes up on the beach. Jen dives for it, this is one reason I have not gotten out there myself. I know kombu is all around and many others.