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Dashi is a Japanese stock made from water, kombu seaweed and dried, smoked and fermented flakes of tuna known as bonito (or katsuobushi). It’s used in many traditional recipes from homemade udon noodles or rice pots, to miso soup and tempura dishes, making it an absolute staple in Japanese cooking. While it’s an incredibly simple thing it makes all the difference to the depth and umami of dishes, so knowing how a top chef like Endo Kazutoshi creates his is a fantastic insight.

‘Ichiban’ means it is the ‘first brew’ of the stock making it the most flavourful – after straining, you can make a second stock using the same kombu and bonito (known as ‘niban’) but the flavour will be milder.

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