When an ingredient becomes a genre
At Ise Sueyoshi, a kaiseki restaurant in Nishi Azabu, dinner is 10 courses – typical of this elaborate, poised, hyper-seasonal style of dining. Dashi holds a divine place in kaiseki cuisine, as it does in the entire Japanese culinary firmament. Yet, despite its importance, the common understanding of dashi goes little beyond the basic tenet of it being a stock made from water, bonito flakes and kombu. That is, until now.
In his book, Yuuki Tanaka of Ise Sueyoshi shows us dashi through the eyes of a top kaiseki chef, introducing three types of dashi: ichiban-dashi (the elegant and refined star of the show); niban-dashi (the most familiar iteration, which enhances the qualities of other ingredients); and shojin-dashi (vegetarian dashi, with roots in Japanese Zen Buddhism) – each with a distinctive history, preparation method, flavour profile and applications.
Yuuki delves into how and why he chooses the dashi ingredients and suppliers he does – such as bonito flakes from his hometown in Mie Prefecture made using an ancient volcanic roasting method – and explains how the interplay of ingredients helps create a concord of flavours and an umami-rich broth, whether that’s kombu and katsuobushi, dried maiitake mushrooms or smoked burdock… umami geeks, stay tuned for scientific discussions! As well as all this, Yuuki shares a handful of Ise Sueyoshi’s signature recipes and tips on using dashi in your own cooking – as well as taking a look to the future of dashi.
Just like Yuuki’s dishes at Ise Sueyoshi, this book promises to be a delightful, delicious and enlightening experience... and will have you more worked up about a stock than you thought possible, so grab yourself a copy!
Paperback booklet, 4" x 7" 96 pages