Katsuo-dashi is made from katsuobushi (dried bonito). There are many Japanese recipes call for katsuo-dashi. You can shortcut and substitute with dashinomoto, but the aroma and flavor of properly made dashi makes a simple Japanese meal extremely satisfying, due to concentrated umami in it.
And because of the umami, you can cut down sodium without sacrificing flavor, if you use strong dashi strategically. Dashinomoto is very handy, but it contains sodium, so that if you really want to reduce sodium intake, you should make your own dashi.
For some reason, dashi made in a large quantity tastes better. You can make extra dashi at a time and freeze it for future use. Some people freeze dashi in ice cube trays for convenience. When dashi is completely frozen in the tray, put them in a ziploc bag, and keep the dashi cubes in a freezer. Use frozen dashi within a week or so.
You can extract dashi twice from katsuobushi. The first dashi is suitable to use for lightly flavored clear soup to enjoy the aroma. The second dashi is suitable to use for miso soup and other stews, which are flavored well with miso or soy sauce.
You can still use the leftover katsuobushi after extracting dashi twice. Here is a recipe of homemade furikake using leftover katsuobushi.
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Sid, Submitted on 2015/10/11 at 4:21 am
I’m looking forward to trying this tonight for my miso soup! I wanted to clarify one thing first however.. Does ‘1-1/4 cup of water’ mean 1 and 1/4 cups or just 1 times 1/4 cups per person?
Yuki, Submitted on 2015/10/11 at 8:31 pm | In reply to Sid.
It is one and 1/4 cups of water.
Sid, Submitted on 2015/11/05 at 1:35 am | In reply to Yuki.
That makes more sense.. Thank you!