Dashi is a delicately flavored Japanese stock essential to Japanese cuisine, often sprinkled on food as a seasoning. Fresh dashi is rare today, even in Japan; instead, people use
granulated or liquid instant substitutes. To make it, bonito are boiled whole and cut into halves. The bones and skin are removed, and the good parts are smoked and dried in the sun repeatedly for about six months, finally yielding hard blocks. A
small part of the washed block is shaved thinly, using a special plane. The slices, called katsuo-bushi, are boiled with kombu (kelp) to make dashi. Prepared dashi can be found
bottled in Asian markets.
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