523: Dashi

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04

I'm Matt.

Molly 0:04

And I'm Molly. This

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:06

is Bill Belk The show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all, and you can have a

Molly 0:09

happy new year everybody. It's 2022 Thank goodness we're done with 2021

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:15

Yeah, this is this is gonna be the good year saying that won't jinx it. Oh,

Molly 0:19

Matthew, don't. Matthew This month marks 12 years of this show.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:24

Oh my God.

Molly 0:25

We need to come up with some sort of like baker's dozen thing like for year 13.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:30

Okay, yeah, lucky you're 13 Yeah, okay. Yeah. When you say a baker's dozen thing, like we're just gonna like eat a bunch of doughnuts,

Molly 0:37

maybe? Well, I feel like whenever I think of a dozen I think like, oh, well like, like, we should just throw one in and make it a baker's dozen. You're

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:45

right. No, I do remember vividly learning about the concept of a baker's dozen when I was a kid if they gave that is so cool, right? Yeah,

Molly 0:52

this episode was suggested by listener Kenji Lopez all our celebrity listener.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:58

Yeah, I think we got a lot of celebrity listeners. Kenji is all Shirley Jackson.

Molly 1:03

Ken albala. Listener Dana, who has suggested so many successful episode topics that she is a celebrity in our eyes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:12

Yeah. Okay, so those are those are the four biggest celebrities who listen to the show. Okay, great. Today we're talking about hdaci. Yay. Right. Do we already say that? I'm not sure. Okay. We're doing great so far. I would say this this like, what's what's like a higher than a plus? A baker's dozen? Okay. Joe gets a baker's dozen, a grade of a baker's dozen so far.

Molly 1:31

So yeah, today we're talking about Dashi and specifically so Kenji sent us a text. Yeah, asking if we had done a show about like, all the different forms that dashi comes in the granules, like, you know, homemade stuff using kombu and bonito, and then other things. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:50

Well, then the bags, the bags, but we're gonna start this show the way we always do by going down memory lane.

Molly 1:55

Yes. So Matthew, I think that Dashi is one of those things that I had heard of being someone who enjoys eating Japanese food. I think that it had never been something that I ever cooked with until the past couple of years. Okay. I make dashi sometimes so I don't make me so soup very often because it really is best when you make it with a dashi base. Yeah, as opposed to just the miso soup I used to eat when I was a kid, which was like the standard packet with just water anyway, but I have never used, like, instant dashi. I just thought that it was like cheating or something like you weren't supposed to do that. And so I feel like making dashi even though it's very easy. I've only ever made it from scratch to make me so soup or to use for soba. Okay, and, and I don't feel like my homemade Dashi is very good as well. I'm curious what

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:53

we're going to learn today because les so my memory lane, I don't think I really understood what dashi was until the first time I went to Japan. And like, I'd heard of it. And I knew that it was important in Japanese cooking, but I didn't really understand how it was like this underlying base flavor that appears in a wide variety of different foods. Yeah, you know, it's a stock but it's not just used for soup. Yes, by any me. Yes. Although it certainly is used for Sue, but it's it's a source of umami in Japanese cooking.

Molly 3:21

I'm thinking for instance, I think last winter, I had a kabocha squash and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it and you suggested doing some kind of thing where it's like almost steamed or poached in dashi. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, so many different things from using it as, of course a suit bass poaching things, and I'm sure I'm gonna learn a lot more about it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:44

Yeah, and like my memory lane. I guess he's like, really, it's like walking into Honda moto Udaan for the first time. And because like the whole, this is a noodle soup chain restaurant that Molly and I both love. You walk in and the whole place smells like the dosha they use which is based on like dried anchovies, okay, and that's what they use for the soup base and it just smells great. And once you smell it, the smell stays with you forever.

Molly 4:07

Yes, but you know that it makes the idea of it being made from dried anchovies I think would turn a lot of people off but in truth it's like a really complex smell that I tracing back to its component. Oh, absolutely.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:20

And I think I think everybody knows by now that like that anchovies are like, not like a wonderful thing. Yeah, that they're just like a thing that makes everything taste better. Now

Molly 4:30

wait, hang on. I thought hdaci was made from bonito flakes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:35

Oh, let's talk about this. You want to you want to dive in? Well, yeah,

Molly 4:38

let's dive in.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:38

What is the chef so hdaci is a whole family of stocks. So like any any like clear stock in Japanese cooking can be called dashi. And you're absolutely right that if you just say Dashi, then people in Japan will assume that you mean a dashi made with kombu which is kelp dried kelp and bonito flakes. smoked, fermented dried bonito, which is a tuna like fish. That's so that using those together that's called an awasi Dashi, which just means mixed, but I don't hear that term used very much.

Molly 5:11

So when I make Tashi at home, I make the recipe. I mean, it's so simple. It's hardly even a recipe, but I use just one cookbook. Yeah. Yeah, but I'm noticing I'm so glad we're talking about this because I'm noticing that the fish you use it looks very different from the fish. I've been oh, we're gonna talk about Okay. All right, here we

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:31

go. Okay, so So that's that's the basic the baseline is a mix of Columbo and katsuobushi which is the smoked fermented tuna like fish, okay, you can make a combo Dashi, which is just seaweed based. And that can be either like cold brewed basically where you just just steeping it overnight. Or simmered. Okay. And usually, whenever you using combo, you don't boil it, you just bring it up to a simmer and then take it out. Because if you boil it, it gets bitter.

Molly 5:57

Well, yeah, this is it always makes me nervous. Like when you read recipes for it, it's like quick get the kombu out.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:04

Yeah, but also it's the kind of thing that like once you've done it once or twice, like either either you'll you'll just get the hang of it. Or if you forget, you'll just start over so you've you've booed your combo. Yeah, I've moved my combo. Okay, sure. So you know, even if you do boil it, it's still not gonna be bad. It's just gonna be different.

Molly 6:21

I was hoping that this was something that you really had to work hard to overdo, like you know, and cake recipes say like, you know, do not over mix. I have never actually over mixed a cake batter to the point where it got tough so I was hoping you were gonna say that it really takes a lot of overcooking to make kombu bitter

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:39

No, but if you use it like you know, someone someone who has like a lot of experience will will be able to pick out like what went wrong, but it's not really going to ruin everything. Okay, okay. So that's, that's the second most common I would say is combo dashi. Then there the other two most common types are she talks a witch made with dried mushrooms and usually usually just, like, again, just steeped or simmered.

Molly 7:05

And so that would be just the mushrooms.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:07

Yeah, but I mean you can mix any of these but like typically when I when I've had a mushroom based dosha it's been been either just the mushrooms or mushrooms and Colombo, okay, and then finally made with other fish, and sometimes a mix of fish like you know, like a dried dried horse mackerel and bonito or like specifically like a small dried fish dosha like a dried sardine or tried anchovy is gonna have a stronger fish flavor than Bonito and is often used for soups, especially for ramen.

Molly 7:36

So you were saying you think Connemara Udaan uses an anchovy?

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:41

Yeah, I know they do because I looked at their website.

Molly 7:44

No, I love that stuff. So okay, all right. Okay, on

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:47

so we have here I want to start the tasting before this gets like cold hold. Yeah. So I made I'll go into more about what Tashi is and how to use it but I made three dashes here I've never done a tasting like this before. So here's like, if you go to Japan Today, most people are not making hdaci from scratch at home. They are using either like a dehydrated powder granule type product called Hoan Dashi, which everybody has in their cupboard in Japan. Can

Molly 8:13

I can I see the granules? And so what is this one made from?

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:17

So this is the fakest one it is made from mostly salt, sugar and MSG. This truly looks and smells like fish food. Yeah, it's salt, sugar, MSG, and like a little bit of fish extract. Okay, it's still good. Okay, you know, it's gonna be strong. It's really good. It's really cute. It's really curvaceous. So the next step up from there, and this is of course, super cheap because it's salt, sugar and MSG. Okay, the next step up from there is like, good quality dashi tea back basically. So So these this one, I used the last bag, so you can't see the bag, but it looks just like a tea bag. And it's got like, real dashi ingredients in it like dried fish and seaweed. And also usually like a little bit of salt or sugar.

Molly 8:58

I notice across the bottom, it has pictures of different things like anchovies, mushrooms, etc. Does that yeah, those things in it?

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:05

I think it does. Yeah, so it's showing that it has two kinds of seaweed mushrooms and two kinds of fish. Oh, so

Molly 9:15

and then tell me about so on the back there is this. I'm so glad. What do you call this like a like a continuum. I like a line with an arrow at either end. And there are different colors on it. And it'll show you like, this is a strength continuum or

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:35

so what it looks like, you know, it's like a horizontal version of like the thermometer you would see on a hot sauce bottle, right? Yeah, but all this thing is showing is that over on the left is represent like, made from scratch, homemade Dashi, and the continuum is how easy it is to make it and so it's showing that this is as easy as it gets. So I think the idea is to convince you to buy this instead of the granules because like don't get the idea that this is any harder than using the granules. It's not but it is tastier. Okay, okay,

Molly 10:07

so this is the bag. This is what we're calling the bag.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:09

Yeah, and this one like, whenever you buy like a like a bag dashi like this, it's gonna have different instructions for different uses, like we're using it for me so soup you're gonna make it relatively dilute. If you're using it for like a simmer dish like you're you're simmering some squash in it, you want it to be stronger, and I made it miso soup style, okay, and then there's homemade so I also made some homemade using some kombu and katsuobushi fish flakes great and I want to start I want to talk more about this but I really want to start tasting what how should we cheese plate this

Molly 10:39

I think we should start honestly from the granules

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:42

I think so I think I do have a feeling the other ones are not going to are going to taste very thin after the granules one but then let's start with homemade start with homemade and go and go from like okay, theoretically best to worst, huh? Yeah, it's good. So

Molly 10:57

God I just wished for more salt. Yeah, so we talked about like, is this what Dashi is supposed to taste like

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:03

well it's not you're not going to serve it like this without salting the broth. You know it's this is this is like you know, a an Unsalted Chicken style or veal stock that we would make just as like a base ingredients. Not it's not made to be delicious all by itself. Okay. Okay. So that that makes the tasting tricky. Okay,

Molly 11:21

we're gonna move on to the bag. Oh, this is saltier. Yeah, the salt

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:25

is a little salt in the homemade wine jelly.

Molly 11:29

Hmm. So the thing that I noticed about the home one is the flavor of the fish is really prominent and really clean. And it's a little bit like delayed. You put it in your mouth and it takes a minute for the flavor to sort of bloom. Yeah, maybe that's the absence of salt. I wonder if I wonder if we're going to taste it. A little salt. You can see see if we want to try two more. The bag one the salt hits my tongue first and then I get more flavor.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:53

Yeah, I didn't put in as much salt as the bag one has but already makes a big difference. Yeah, like you're not going to serve like Udaan noodle soup with an unsalted broth. trub. So the way that usually gets salted like the Tokyo style is going to use more soy sauce. And like Osaka style is going to is going to use more salt. Okay, I

Molly 12:15

just tasted the granules one which compared to the bag and the home one it's a little bit cloudy.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:19

Mm hmm.

Molly 12:20

But still clearer than most chicken stalks. Oh, it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:23

full of sugar.

Molly 12:24

It is quite delicious. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:27

it's still very tasty.

Molly 12:29

It's a little like thinner. Yeah, somehow like I mean, the flavor is thinner.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:33

Yeah, and I think I think I don't know for sure. Like what which aspect of the ingredients is contributing to it but I think like when you when you like simmer kombu like that's giving body to the stock like texture, not just flavor. Okay, I think that's probably part of it.

Molly 12:50

Ah, okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:51

This is so interesting. Really

Molly 12:52

interesting. They're all they are more similar. I think then they are different. Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:59

think so too.

Molly 13:00

I think if we were tasting like I know we did a chicken stock or chicken broth episode at some point, maybe? Yeah, we definitely do. And I feel like the range of flavor of chicken stock is much wider.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:13

I think so too.

Molly 13:14

So these to me are more similar than they are different but

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:16

they're very different when we when we get into like stock, you know, like Western style stock versus dosh, I think Well, I think we'll kind of zero in on like why that might be okay, I don't really like the added sugar in the granule one like it I think like next time that they probably make something similar that's no added sugar that I think is I would probably find tastier. Having said that, it's certainly not bad. No, I

Molly 13:38

love that shit. Okay, great. Okay, yeah. Okay, so Matthew, hold on let's let's like backtrack sort of what is this flavor? How is this different from a stock like a chicken stock? That would be our like Western cooking base.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:53

Okay, so first of all, like like I said, like Dashi is a key source of umami in in Japanese cooking and there are there are certainly other umami sources in Japanese cooking like a lot of soy bean based stuff like miso and soy sauce. But dashi. Unlike those things, like Dashi is not strongly flavored in and of itself. So like, primarily it is contributing like an umami backbone, not that it doesn't have flavor, obviously, but that it is loaded with the molecules that produce the savory umami flavor to the extent that that's where the concept of umami came from, like that day. You know, a food scientist in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century was like, what I taste Dashi, it's got this savory undertone to it that feels to me as a chemist, like there must be a chemical explanation for this. I wonder if I can isolate that and figure out what it is. And he basically got halfway there in the sense that he isolated free glutamate MSG, and and turn that into a product. And that is part of the umami story in a very important part. There's also so that primarily comes from the kombu I want to say, I think I wrote this down.

Molly 15:01

Well, it's present in both right in in the fermented fish or the preserved fish and the kombu. But

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:07

yeah, so but the, the, the umami source in the combo is primarily MSG, okay, umami source in the katsuobushi is primarily, you know, cynic acid. Okay? And they have a synergistic effect. So like when they come together in the same dish, like it doesn't taste like twice as savory tastes like four times as savory. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Synergy Great. Synergy is the coolest. Yeah. How can we like achieve corporate synergy? I hear that's an important that.

Molly 15:34

We're gonna this I think this is part of our baker's dozen strategy. There's just gonna keep referring to it this year.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:41

A business book called the baker's dozen strategy and like, we can be like really coy throughout the book, like what that strategy because people buy a business book because like, there's the name The name and there's like some like person in a suit on the cover. So we'll get some suits. Okay, we'll wear the suits. We'll put we'll like do a photoshoot and the book will say we'll look we'll be very like stern and business lucky. It'll say the baker's dozen. We're gonna wear Baker's hats with our suits. Like how Yes, absolutely. Yes. Like a toke

Molly 16:10

are we going to wear now that would be a chef's hat a baker's hat. See what is like a little like, one of those little like sailors hat,

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:17

okay, where sailor hats and suits and sailor suits.

Molly 16:21

It's not a sailor hat. It's a it's a little Baker's hat.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:24

And we're gonna be selling like take your business to the 13th degree or the 13th level. Right? Yeah, turn your business up to 13. Yeah, I don't see how you can lose.

Molly 16:33

I don't see how we can either. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:35

we've dripped so much hdaci all over everything. Go on. What was it? Okay, so so it's a source of umami. But that is also true of a chicken stock, like a chicken stock is also full of savory umami flavors. So here is the difference as I think about it, and like when I first read this, I got this idea from from Chef Tadashi. Oh, no. And one of his books. I don't remember which one, but they're all good. He's written the Japanese grill, Japanese hot pots and Japanese soul food, Japanese soul cooking, maybe. Okay. And in one of those books, he had a sidebar, where he talked about how in Western cooking, you've primarily developed flavor by long cooking and searing and concentrating. Okay, right. Okay. So like, when you make chicken stock, you're gonna like take some chicken meat, and maybe brown ads, and then some chicken bones and then cook it for a long time to like, extract and concentrate the flavor. Yeah, that is not the primary primary source of flavor in Japanese cooking. In Japanese cooking, the primary source of flavor is like fermented and dried ingredients, where they're already full of flavor. And you are using those flavors to flavor your finished dish, which is usually cooked quickly.

Molly 17:48

Ah, okay. So whereas we might start, I mean, think of like chicken. Okay, yeah, not a lot of flavor until you start writing salt. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:57

then you think about eating a handful of raw chicken. Like, there's not a lot of flavor

Molly 18:01

there. Yeah, I mean, the last time I did it, I was like, Why does anybody do this? Then

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:05

you woke up in the hospital three days later? And you're like, Oh, now I remember.

Molly 18:09

Anyway. Yeah, so you are you are like getting flavor into it through the cooking process and three things you're adding to it, whereas, I mean, what could be more flavorful than these? Like dried fish? Right? Right. Like extremely like concentrated little flavor shards?

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:30

Yeah. Or like you know, soy sauce is another example. It's dried mushrooms, dried mushrooms. Like all these things are like huge parts of Japanese cooking. Miso is another is another example. And like, you're absolutely right that like in Western cooking, we often think of using that type of thing as like, you know, cheating or shortcuts. And it's not

Molly 18:49

well, and what's interesting to actually is all these things that we're talking about as being these kind of like, you know, highly flavored base ingredients. These base ingredients take a long time to make

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:00

Yes, absolutely. Someone has done a lot of the work for you when you're using these ingredients so proud that you're cheating. It's that you're standing on the shoulders of giants.

Molly 19:08

There you go. There you go.

So how do you actually make dashi we've been talking about homemade Dashi, let's talk about how you actually make Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:25

first, can I talk about the ingredients that I use because I think I think partly the reason I was eager to do this episode was that I accidentally bought some some like expensive fancy ass combo at a watch Amaya.

Molly 19:36

Okay, so I was gonna say so the combo that I have at home is from Ballard market, which is like my local neighborhood, you know, European style grocery store, but it happens. So combo they sell combo. Yeah, they sell packets of bonito that come in like five, five grand otherwise you mates. But my kombu looks like it's covered in like a white bloom, what is that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:01

So that is, it's it's like it's like an amino acid or something that is that is, you know, precipitating out. It's not bad. Okay. Um, you know, like a lot of recipes will say to wipe it off. I think that's not necessary. I don't know why, like some types of kombu like get more of that than others. I don't think it's really like a sign of quality. Although this one, this fancy one doesn't have much of it. So what makes this fancy? So it's like, you know, that it says it's a particularly it's from Hokkaido, first of all, which is like kombu Central. It is like a particularly like high grade and like, in good condition. Like, you know, it's not the janky scallops. It's like the whole scallops. And so I was I needed I was out of Colombo, and I needed some and like, I was looking at what they had available to watch Amaya and I you know, it was one of those situations. I'm sure this has happened to you where maybe they'd like falling over next to a different price tag, you know, shell price tag and I'm like, okay, you know, alright 599 Like, I think last time I paid like, you know, $4 for combo but fine, I'll get the 599 combo. When I brought it up to the to the counter. It was

Molly 21:05

$16 Wow. And I went ahead and bought it anyway, I went ahead and bought it anyway. You were like I'm just gonna dig a hole put this money in in a Bernie Yeah, but

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:15

it seems like it's pretty good stuff. And so like now I feel like I'm a better person because I own this fancy seaweed. It's Minami. Kayaba mock mock Hombu cool que Dashiell so it's like kombu for dashi from a particular region at the at the southern tip of Hokkaido. Wow,

Molly 21:35

I love that. That's the seaweed. Okay, so combo, yeah. Which comes in these sheets and you generally cut like a length of

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:43

it. Yeah. So like, I cut like a five gram piece, which I guess is like, I don't know, like three by four inches, something like that. I

Molly 21:51

find my I have like a little Horio scale that I use for making caution. And I find that very useful for these small precise measurements of like lightweight thing for fish flakes and kombu

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:02

I have a little harder bow scale that I use for weighing gummy bears. Okay, so then also, while I was watching my I got some new fish flakes and these these were kind of mid priced ones but I wanted to try some like thick sliced ones that are really only for making dashi like the thin sliced ones can be used for making

Molly 22:21

Dashi and this is anchovy that is bonito, this is bonito Oh my god. So okay, the bonito flakes that I have, which I'm sure you can picture yeah, they look anemic compared to these. So is there something different in that like these are a rich shade of like almost like a caramel color? The ones I have are like the color of my extremely pale skin.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:45

Yeah, I so the ones you have are called Hannah cazzola like flour, flour, fish flakes. Oh, okay, that's not bad. Like like they're still good for making Dashi and they're also good for sprinkling on things which these would not be because they you would not be able to chew them. I don't know if there's really any advantage to making dashi with the thick sliced ones that are only for dashi. I just liked how the package looked and it seemed to be like a nice mid price mid quality choice.

Molly 23:11

I gotta say, Dude, these look really good. They smell really good smell

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:15

Yeah, when I was like measuring them out, just like pulling them out. Like they feel very satisfying.

Molly 23:22

Oh, these are gorgeous. Wow,

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:24

how much did this cost? That was like $6

Molly 23:27

oh six bucks for like, what is ultimately going to be a lot of dashi? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:31

I used like five grams to make two cups. I'm sorry. I what I said was was alive. This is not katsuobushi it's it's macro and horse macro. So it's a different fish.

Molly 23:41

Okay. Okay, so So tell me about this. So you took your dried fish? You took some water, you took your combo? What did you do? Alright,

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:49

so I put the combo. First of all, I steeped it for a little bit this morning just for a little extra flavor. That's optional. Do you mean you steeped Oh, I took the water that I was gonna use to make the dashi and I dropped the piece of kombu in it and let it sit on the counter for a couple hours.

Molly 24:02

Oh my God, that's a long time. Were you worried about booing your combo?

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:06

It will but you only blew it when you boil it. Oh, okay. Yeah, no, if you're making like a combo dosha you can like you can let it sit in water cold water for 24 hours. It'll be fine. Oh, great. You were talking about cold brew Dashi, but yeah, so I cold brewed for a little while then I put it on the stove like a medium heat and watched it you know, when it starts to when it starts to kind of collect bubbles around the seaweed itself, not just the bottom of the pot, that's about when I'm going to pull it Okay, and so you pull the whole thing off or you just remove the combo, just remove the combo and then I throw in the fish flakes, and let it come back to just barely a simmer and then take that off the heat and let it infuse for like 10 minutes and then strain it.

Molly 24:45

Okay, so dashi doesn't keep for long. But what does that mean? Like does it go off like Well, I think

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:53

it just like loses its flavor like, you know that it's starts starts to taste more like yeah, like it'll get a little a little more bitter and a little watery at the same time. Kind of weird and like, but you can freeze it for like, a couple weeks, but it's you know, it's so quick to make. Yeah, you know, especially if you're making it from a bag, which is perfectly good. That really like you should just make it as you're using and like, if you're making you're making it from scratch, like unlike a buck bottle, unlike a pot of chicken stock, which, like you're not going to make two cups of chicken stock, right? Correct from scratch, you can easily make two cups of hdaci I just did it.

Molly 25:32

So here's a question for you when I have made Udaan and I've made hdaci You know, then you boil your Udaan I usually serve it with like soy sauce for people to Doctor their own journals, and togarashi Yeah, and whatever else, but I still find that the flavor is kind of thin compared to Han tomato Udaan What am I doing?

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:56

I mean, first of all, you could try just making a more intense Dashi and see if that's what you're looking for. How

Molly 26:03

do I do that without I think I've been timid I think I'm almost intimidated by the speed at which she is made. And therefore I don't know how to make it stronger. Because like, part of the whole idea of it is none of it cooks for very long.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:20

Just put in more. Oh, more stuff more stuff. Oh, don't cook it longer just just use a higher ratio of solids to liquid. Got it. Okay. Okay, I think that's what that's what I would try first. Okay, yeah. Okay, um, like, I don't know, like Hamada Udaan is a is a big chain and they probably have some, like, industrial dashi making operation going on. And I don't know what what that entails. But I would like to know, I

Molly 26:46

also want one of their like, dashi dispensers. Yeah. So when you go get your soup there, you know, they scoop the noodles out of the hot water using like a noodle basket thing and dump it in a bowl and then they push this thing that's like a pump. And yeah, dashi comes out.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:04

It's delightful. Yeah, they've also got is that the place that has the the tea dispenser or no is the ice water dispenser where you can get like ice and water to come out at the same time? Oh, I don't know. I think you've always gotten my ice water flow. Wow. I know. That was nice to me. Yes. Nice of you. Um, okay, so

Molly 27:20

Matthew, what do you make with dashi? I've talked about serving Udaan with it. So make Dashi and then put me so in it. That's delicious. Yeah, sent me so soup,

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:29

hot pots. A lot of them have have a dashi bass. Nemo no is simmer dishes. That's like, like the squash that you made, but like any any vegetable, like simmered in Tashi. Oh, one thing I was gonna say before is when you make Tashi from scratch, like you can also make a knee bond Dashi, which is like the second dosha using the same solids have I ever actually done this myself? I don't think so. And then it when you have the solid remaining like every Japanese cookbook will tell you then you can use those solids to make good ani which is like kombu students soy sauce, sweetened soy sauce, or and our homemade food cockade I've never done either of those things either. Like I know I would be a better person if I was frugal in that way but I have not okay. Okay, so other things that you make with dashi don't booty like, I've been making well like, like a, like an Oyako dawn or a katsu Dawn like, they'll definitely will be dashi in the in the broth that turns into like the sauce that clings to the stuff on top. Oh, I didn't realize Yeah, okay. Okay, that's good stuff. Chawanmushi is made with dosha. We didn't tell Moochie episode. It always goes into the batter for Okonomiyaki and takoyaki. I did not

Molly 28:40

realize that. So when we were at Penguin Village, and we ordered our Okonomiyaki and they they brought out a bowl which had all the ingredients in it and you stir it up. Where was the dashi in there? I think it was just in there. Like it was it was in in like, under all the cabbage or whatever. Yeah, okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:57

you don't need a lot or it would get to running. I mean, if you use a lot, then it becomes monjayaki which I don't think we've ever i That's like runny, runny. Yes, it's already pancakes. quite tasty. Okay, when I make I mean sukiyaki is a hot pot, but I always use that in my sukiyaki basis like equal parts Dashi, mirin and soy sauce is what I usually do. Okay, it's great. Okay, and I don't know. Oh, and ramen of course like I I have one time made a like fish stock based ramen at home and it was from the Ivan ramen cookbook, and it was a ton of work. It was very tasty. I'm not going to do it again.

Molly 29:30

But wait, but what about so if I go get like Tonkotsu Ramen? Does that involve dashi?

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:37

I didn't say pork broth. So the Tonkotsu part refers to the fact that it has like rich you know, kind of milky pork broth in it. But if you go to like our favorite place Alba ramen, that is that was one of the first double soup restaurants and that means that the the, the broth is made with both like the Tonkotsu pork broth and a fish Face hdaci There are also a lot of robbing places particularly in Tokyo that specialize in debo Xu nom nom in which is made with a strong like star Dean or anchovy bass dashi. Okay. Okay. Usually with soy sauce added also.

Molly 30:16

And then of course, so soba, right. Oh yeah, we've talked about Udaan but so bad. Yeah, well,

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:21

I mean Udaan and silvar are like sibling noodles anyway, you see one of them serve. The other one is also served that way. So like, yeah, like either both both like dipping style and soup style there will be hdaci involved

Molly 30:35

in a dipping style. Is the dashi more concentrated?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:39

That's a good question, because

Molly 30:40

it seems to me that my answer is probably yes. If I were to dip soba in our homemade dashi here, I'm not sure that it would contribute a lot of flavor.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:52

I just learned something interesting. So first of all, for like a dipping noodle, you're gonna you're gonna like seize it up with with like strong ingredients like probably quite a bit of soy sauce. Okay, usually goes into into like a dipping style. You know if it's if it well we should do we should do like a whole lot dipping noodle episode. Hybrid.

Molly 31:12

I've never done dipping noodles.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:13

I just learned something interesting from this bag. Okay, that might that might. This is the the tea bag bag. So here's the bag dashi right here. I'm gonna, I'm gonna taste it again. Okay, that's really good. This was made with me. So soup oriented proportions. Okay, okay, um, which is a very light dashi. Yes. And I think probably the just one cookbook recipe that we both use probably is also like a miso soup strength of dashi because that's what you're going to be using it for mode like that's, that's the most common dish made with Tosh,

Molly 31:50

and we will we will also link to the just one Yeah, absolute recipe. On this bag.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:55

It says if you're using this dashi bag for making Udaan or soba use 300 milliliters of water rather than 700. Whoa, or then twice as strong. Oh, I'm really eager to taste that. So I think next time yeah, next time you make Udaan at home, okay, by making try putting in a little more than twice as much kombu and katsuobushi and see what that does for you. It's not gonna be bad.

Molly 32:21

I think my family's going to love this. Wow, you can learn so much from a bag. If you can read Japanese characters. You can read Japanese,

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:30

you can learn so much from a Japanese bag. Alright, Matthew two if anyone in the audience has a Japanese bag, like I call it to Matthew, he'll read it and is having trouble sleeping like call me up and I'll read it to you softly at bedtime.

Molly 32:45

Um, do we have anything else to say about dashi? Other than we've just learned a lot about hdaci

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:52

we Yeah, I mean, like, I didn't realize how I was gonna learn. I know. I was gonna learn a lot but um, it's very satisfying to watch you learn I don't know like I hope we didn't leave people with the impression that like homemade Dashi is the be all end all I don't think we did. I think

Molly 33:06

that I came into this. You know, as I said at the beginning, I think I always thought that homemade dashi was like what you should do. And now actually now that I've tasted these other ones, I mean, as you heard, I really liked that hon. Dashi granules one. I am definitely you and I are actually going to go to we're going to go grocery shopping together after we take this and I'm going to get some of those tea bags. Yeah, okay. Yeah, I think that I will be making dashi oriented dishes much more often now that I understand better like the normalcy of instant and and what do you call non instant but bag dashi?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:46

Yeah, I call it packets, I guess. Okay, like I don't know packet implies, like, like a mustard packet or something. Right. There's no mustard in here.

Molly 33:54

Okay. Okay. What a disappointment.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:58

Alright, so we move on to segment Yeah, let's

Molly 34:00

do I'm gonna read our spilled mail today.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:03


Molly 34:10

this one comes from listener June. Hi, listener June. I like your name. Do any of your favorite movies or TV series have specific favorite meals that you enjoy when you watch them? For example, when I watched this listener June, when I watch Humphrey Bogart movies, I always want coffee and dessert like that. rom coms like the wedding planner or Love Actually, it's pasta Bolon USA. Any mystery movie or TV series? I love a good takeaway. Thai Indian or Chinese any specific movie and food pairings for you Molly and Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:45

Okay, first of all, obviously, whenever I watch Big night I make the Tim Pano. Yeah,

Molly 34:50

I don't we all Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:51

I mean, that's like a you know, epic that on Thursdays so. I do I have one that comes to mind for me.

Molly 34:59

I have Nothing comes to mind and I love the idea of rituals like this, you know, people who like really have like, yeah, this like, kind of like easy formula for enjoyment.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:12

Right. So here's, here's the thing. Like, I also am not really like much of a like you're pairing specific foods with specific entertainment person, although it sounds awesome. But a couple weeks ago, why did the show Laurie put on the calendar fnf pizza picnic, and I said, what is that? And she said, we're going to watch Fast Five, the fifth movie in the Fast and Furious franchise and order pizza. Like, as soon as I heard that, and like, I can't like this is gonna keep me going. Like it was a pretty tough week. And then on Friday night, we ordered pizza from Paul Yachi. And we watched Fast Five, which is probably the best Fast and Furious movie, okay. And it was just perfect. And like, there isn't there isn't any other food too. For me that could possibly go better with a Fast and Furious movie. And so I hope we have a lot more fast and furious. Pizza picnics. Ah, great. I mean, we ate pizza on the living room floor in front of the TV

Molly 36:09

is just perfect. It was perfect. It's perfect. Yeah, we I don't have anything like okay, that's fine. I don't have anything like this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:19

I mean, I do want to have coffee and dessert with Humphrey Bogart. That sounds pretty cool.

Molly 36:23

You know, I always wish that somebody were around to like, make me a decaf coffee in the evening.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:29

Oh, that's nice. I can't ask your spouse to do that. I

Molly 36:32

could, but I don't keep decaf coffee around. Yeah, too much work. So we had we had a really challenging week last week, and yesterday was Sunday when we're taping this. We both wound up taking like a Sunday afternoon nap. Nice. Anyway, we woke up and I just so badly wanted somebody to come cook us like a really nice meal. Like just somebody else. Come cook a really nice meal for us. Yeah, that didn't happen. I just seen anybody

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:10

please. Like you call me call me like, you know, next time call me up, like I'll read you from from a Japanese bag. And they'll come over and cook you a meal. Okay, okay, great. I'm actually offering it Sure why not?

Molly 37:23

Okay, I'll even come pick you up. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:26

Yeah, that sounds great. And this offer is also good for every listener.

Molly 37:29

Okay. Especially you listener, Jun, thank you for sending in your spilled

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:34

mail. And now it's time for now. But wow. Yeah, that's not a good way to introduce this segment. Cuz I said now twice, whatever.

It's my turn for now. But wow. And I have to have one of which is very self serving. But I'll do I'll do the other one first. Okay. So I just finished a book called XO x Oh, by xe Oh, it is a coming of age young, young adult romance. It's very, it's very sweet. And it is about Jenny who is a cellist in LA who meets a cute boy one night. And of course, the boy turns out to be Jae Woo, a member of a huge Kpop band who isn't allowed to date because he's a member of a kpop band

Molly 38:16

that sexual tension here must have been turned up to 11.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:19

So and of course, like they only have one, you know, one perfect after an evening together, and then it goes back to Korea. But then Jenny moves to Seoul to be closer to her dying grandmother and enrolls in music school there and guess who is in her class? It's some other guy. No, it's a Whoo. So I really enjoyed it. And you reminded me when you talk about like how you wanted someone to make you a home cooked meal, like the part of the book that that like got me the most revved up was when she gets to go to his family's house for for a home cooked Korean dinner. Mm

Molly 38:49

hmm. Fantastic. Okay, so, so that is EXO EXO by Axi. Oh, that's Oh, ah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:56

yeah. And then the other thing which I you know, I'm just like taking the plunge I'm going to mention this is that I've mentioned on the show a few times that I've been getting more serious about making music and I wrote and recorded a song with a couple friends of mine from work. And I'm putting it on SoundCloud or put the SoundCloud link in the episode description. The song is called save the world. Okay. It has words and music and singing and guitar rings by me. Yeah, my friends, Matt and Ryan from work contributed bass and additional guitars. And I hired a guy named Corey to mix it and I'm pretty happy with the way that it turned out. There are certainly places in it where I'm like, there, those are the places where we screwed up, but I think it's a pretty catchy song. Ah,

Molly 39:41

man, this is the best.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:44

So if you if you want to hear me sing something, I mean, I mean, first it does sound like a song from the 90s but it's not an actual song from the 90s like we usually break into On this episode, okay, on this show.

Molly 39:55

Alright, so you can check that out in the show notes. Yep. And our producer is Abby circuit tele. And you know, we haven't mentioned in a little while but Abby doesn't just work for us. Adam is a freelance Podcast Producer and development editor. She is a manuscript wizard. Yes. Yeah. spends a lot of her time reading and polishing up other people's books.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:19

Yeah. So if you've if you got a manuscript, you need to get producer Abby involved. She's

Molly 40:24

fantastic. So yeah, that's our producer, Abby, sir. Catella. All right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:27

Please rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. Check in with other people who listen to the show at reddit.com/are/everything spilled milk. That's a fun place to hang out.

Molly 40:37

Sure is. As always, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show that

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:43

that is shot through with a mommy with umami. And you're to blame. Oh, I

Molly 40:49

guy like that shot through the heart and you're to blame. Yeah, you you garlin you give love?

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:54

Savory undertone.

Molly 40:56

I'm Molly Weissenberg. I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:57

Matthew Amster-Burton. Yeah, that that was definitely yeah,

Molly 41:00

that was really the best

you were recording any of Shirley Jackson spoiler segment?

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:12

No, I didn't want to. I didn't want to tell everyone like I did you, Molly. Molly's upset, because I just spoil the story. The lottery

Molly 41:20

by Shirley Jackson, which was that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:23

When was that story, right.

Molly 41:24

I can't remember. Was it like 19? For No, yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:28

I think it was in the 40s. Right.

Molly 41:30

Have you watched the movie Shirley in which Elisabeth Moss plays Shirley Jackson?

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:35

No. Did she get hit by a rock at the end? Of 1948. There we go. It's so it's more than 70 years old stop by winning and you know why you haven't read it yet. It's because it was published originally published in the New Yorker and you haven't caught up to the 1948 New Yorkers. Yeah,

Molly 41:50

I actually have the lottery The New Yorker page of it like open on my computer or my like 18 billion tabs.