Niboshi Dashi is a dried sardine fish stock, the base for so many Japanese and Korean soups. Sardines are super high in calcium and off the charts in Vitamin B12. This fish stock can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and used as a soup base for any recipe. A typical dashi requires just one or two ingredients and no more than 20 minutes prep, so much faster than making homemade vegetable or chicken stock. Just be sure to allow extra time for soaking the dried sardines in water before you start.
I added enoki mushrooms or “snow puffs” because they are so sweet and delicate. Kombu (dried kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms are viable ingredients too, but today was solely a comfort-broth sipping kind of a day. A broth is the easiest format for the body to absorb much-needed minerals. If you’re using this as a fish stock, the more sardines, the stronger the flavor, so play with it to suit your taste. I diluted this recipe for a dainty sipping version of traditional dashi.
Ingredients: 15 small dried sardines or up to 50 grams (a generous 1/4 cup) and 4 cups of water.
To prepare the dried sardines, remove the heads and guts which can make the stock bitter. Soak the prepared sardines in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes, several hours or overnight. Transfer the soaked sardines in their water to a small pot, bring water to a boil and cook on low for 10 minutes, skimming foam off the top with a strainer or wooden spoon. After 10 minutes, strain the broth into a bowl through a sieve lined with a paper towel (or cheese cloth). Gently squeeze the paper towel to drain all remaining liquid. (This recipe is adapted from here and here.)