DASHI SHOP

Field NotesAs Simple as Making
Your Everyday Cup of CoffeePhotography:Hiroko Matsubara
Text:Nami Son
Translation : Hidetaka Furuya (Northern Projects)

Dashi is as simple as making your everyday cup of coffee.

Extracting dashi takes a little time and effort, but it’s really not that difficult to do. If you know how to extract your dashi easily with a familiar kitchen implement, you will become even more acquainted with Japanese food culture. We have experimented with three different types of coffee maker to see how well they can extract dashi!

 

How to extract good dashi with a coffee maker

<What you’ll need>
- A coffee maker
- A paper filter (if necessary)

<Ingredients> for 2 – 3 people
- Water ... 500cc
(If you use a French press or a Chemex Coffeemaker, make sure you use freshly boiled water.)
- Katsuo-bushi flakes** ... 20g
(If you are using just 250cc of freshly boiled water, you should use 10g of katsuo-bushi flakes instead.)

Using finely shaved katsuo-bushi flakes**Using finely shaved katsuo-bushi flakes (as shown in the picture on the left) ensures that you can extract dashi with ease. If you use roughly shaved katsuo-bushi flakes, you should rub them with your hands first to break the flakes down into smaller pieces.

<Steps>
1. Put katsuo-bushi flakes into the paper filter or directly into the coffee maker.
2. Pour freshly boiled water on top.
3. After one minute, your dashi should be ready.

 

We have experimented with three different types
of coffee maker to extract dashi.

We have experimented with three different types of coffee maker to extract dashi.

Pictured are the coffee makers that we have experimented with. The siphon (left) extracts dashi by using air pressure to push the boiled water down; the French press (middle) brings the dashi out by using the power of air; and the Chemex Coffeemaker (right) drip-brews the dashi. By experimenting with different extraction methods, we have discovered that the strength of the dashi will vary accordingly, just like coffee.

As you can see, the extraction of dashi is subtly different in color. We tasted each one and discovered that the strength in color reflects how well the dashi has been extracted. The siphon produced the strongest dashi and the French press produced the weakest. This discovery really surprised us. It’s so easy to extract good dashi with an ordinary coffee maker!