Make Dashi Broth and Ramen at Home
Ramen is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and around the world. But what is it that makes it so delicious? The answer lies in the broth, and more specifically, dashi broth. Dashi is Japan's umami-rich fish broth, and it can be used to make many different types of ramen.
The most common type of dashi uses a mix of kombu which is kelp seaweed and katsuobushi, otherwise known as dried bonito flakes. But you can use other dried fish like anchovies or sardines or if you’re after a vegetarian-friendly version you can just soak the seaweed on its own or along with some shiitake mushrooms. This version uses a mix of kombu, shiitake dried mushrooms and bonito flakes along with some additional flavorings for our ramen - chilli, ginger and garlic. You can also swap the pork belly for fried tofu, using similar flavorings, if you're making a vegetarian-friendly version.
Dashi Broth Ingredients
- 3 pieces of kombu
- 30g/1 ounce shiitake dried mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves
- 15g/2 inches root ginger
- 2 litres/9 cups cups water
- 3-4 dried chillies
- 10g/1 cup bonito flakes
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- dashi broth (see above)
- 250g ramen noodles
- 300g pork belly
- pork belly marinade (five-spice, salt, vegetable oil)
- 4-5 leaves of bok choy
- 1 can of bamboo shoots
- Toppings: ramen egg, spring onions/scallions, sesame seeds
The Dashi Broth
You can make this in one stretch along with your ramen but for convenience, it's best to make this in the advance to have on hand for all your culinary adventures.
- Heat a pot filled with 2 litres/9 cups of water and bring it to just below a simmer point.
- Add your kombu, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and chillis to the pot and let it steep for around 30 minutes.
- Once 30 minutes has passed, remove the kombu which by this point should have expanded. Then add in your bonito flakes. Simmer for 5 minutes then strain.
- Then you want to cook the strained liquid down to about half the amount. At this point you can add any final seasoning to your broth - rice wine vinegar or soy sauce.
- If you're making this in advance, simply heat a portion of the broth when it comes time to serving.