I’m hooked on bonito broths at the moment.
Bonito flakes are dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna and they make a delicious and nutricuoius Japanese broth that tastes great with black bean noodles and plenty of ginger. The tuna is first boiled, deboned, smoked and then covered with mould to draw out moisture and break down fats. It’s left to ferment for 6 months and what remains is merely 1/6th of it’s original size and very light. The fish is shaven into paper thin slithers and used for bonito stocks or dashi, amongst other things.
Last year whilst visiting Leminton Spa we stumbled upon this great little Japanese restaurant called Auradaze. The reviews all said great food – but but acward management. When we walked in, all 12 seats were filled and there was no chance of a meal for us. We reserved two chairs at the bar for the following evening and we were not disappointed. The Mancunian father and son team treated us so well and kept sliding us little taste dishes in-between courses. They told stories of rude customers and how they asked everyone that came through the door to turn their phones off. If people didn’t they were politely asked to leave. Some people were upset by this. I think it’s great! We stayed long after closing listening to stories of Dazt’s 20 years training as a chef in Japan. I bought lots of Japanese ingredients from their larder, some of which I had never tried before. Kombu (dried Japanese kelp) for stocks. Dried Bonito flakes. Salted cherry blossoms.
Since then I have been making fish broths, or dashi stocks, using the dried bonito flakes and the kombu. If the kombu is over heated is can produce a bitter taste. I gently simmer the kelp in water, ginger and chicken stock for about 10 minutes before putting the bonito flakes in. When the flakes have sunk to the bottom you can strain and you will have a beautiful clear broth but often I’m to hungry to strain. Kombu is mineral rich, packed with calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and iodine. I often add some Atlantic dulce as well because I like the salty sea flavour and I know it’s good for you. It’s high in vitamins A, C, E, B-6 and B-12, minerals including calcium, iodine and magnesium, as well as protein and fiber.
It’s so quick and delicious, it’s great on it’s own or as a warming broth with added noodles and fish or can be used as a stock to flavour other dishes.
- for the bonito broth:
- bonito flakes
- chicken stock
- black bean noodles
- pickled ginger and carrots on top