Spectacular Seaweed
Kombu, an essential Japanese ingredient, brings depth of flavor to all kinds of dishes. Michael Kraus

This version of dashi—a seaweed based broth and building block of Japanese cuisine—comes from Sonoko Sakai. Dried mushrooms and bonito (dried fish flakes) add even deeper, more pungent flavor.

Featured in: The Art of Homemade Soba Noodles

Yield: makes 8 cups


  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 3 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 (3-inch–square) sheet kombu
  • 2 oz. bonito flakes


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water with mushrooms and let stand for 1 hour. Add kombu and bring the water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, discard the mushrooms and kombu, and stir in bonito flakes. Let steep for 10 minutes, pour the dashi through a fine sieve set over a bowl, and discard the bonito flakes. Store the dashi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.