Here’s another short post on a source for excellent ingredients.
The Japanese Pantry imports and sells outstanding artisan-quality Japanese ingredients to restaurants, merchants and home cooks. It offers miso, soy, tamari, vinegar, mirin, kombu, sesame-based products and seasonings that far surpass the quality of ingredients that one finds in even well-regarded specialty food stores.
The Japanese Pantry recently added Donko dried shiitake mushrooms to its offerings. With these world-class dried mushrooms from the island of Kyushu and other Japanese Pantry staples, you are set to make dashi using the following David Kinch recipe that appears in Umami: The Fifth Taste (Japan Publications Trading Company, 2014).
1.8 liters filtered water
12 grams dried shiitake mushrooms
15 grams dried kombu
25 grams dried tuna flakes
4 to 5 tablespoons white soy sauce
Sea salt [I use 1.25 grams Amabito No Moshio]
1. Combine water, mushrooms and kombu in a large pan and heat to 140F/60C. Turn off heat, cover, and steep for 1 hour.
2. Remove and discard kombu. Heat mushrooms and broth to 175F/80C. Add tuna flakes, stir for 15 seconds and immediately strain through a linen cloth. Discard the solids and season the dashi to taste with white soy and salt. If making ahead, reserve in the refrigerator
I don’t follow Kinch’s recipe to a T; I use my fine PNW water for filtered. I also don’t discard the mushrooms. Rather, I save and cook with them.
The Japanese Pantry currently sells three different types of kombu: Ma, Rausu and Rishiri. I use what I have in my pantry. I mostly swap out the recipe’s white soy for 75 grams of white tamari that The Japanese Panty sells. Made with 100% wheat, the Japanese government prohibits its manufacturer, Notto Jozo, from calling this sauce soy. However labeled, this light sauce tastes fantastic.
Regrettably, one cannot buy dried fish and shellfish from The Japanese Pantry—at least not yet. I’m told it wants to offer these products, but it’s difficult for the small artisan companies that it promotes to navigate certain import regulations. But, hopefully, one day soon we can also find dried seafood and fish at The Japanese Pantry.