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Japanese food is famed and beloved for its clean complexity, with recipes that have been honed for generations, combining exceptional ingredients in pursuit of a harmony of flavours.
It's a philosophy epitomised by dashi, a subtle but savoury stock that forms the base of soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, poaching liquids and chawanmushi; a savoury egg custard spiked with chicken, fish or whatever seasonal bounty is at its best.
While there are dozens of dashi varieties, made by poaching a range of ingredients in gently warming water, the most ubiquitous is Awase Dashi ('Mixed dashi').
Sheets of kombu (dried kelp) are steeped in cold or gently warming water, the stock then infused with dried bonito shavings. The results are a gently oceanic, mildly smoky broth that's perfect for the seafood, mushroom and spring vegetable flavours in this delicate, delicious steamed custard.
30m prep | 20m cook
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