Ichiban Dashi (Primary Dashi)
Not every home has a scale which measures small amounts accurately, so included are some size and volume equivalents for the seaweed and bonito flakes.
1 litre/2 pints/4 cups cold water
5 cm/2 in square of dried kelp (kombu)
3 tablespoons dried bonito flakes
Put water and dried kelp into a saucepan and bring slowly to a simmer. Remove kelp just before water comes to the boil. (Reserve kelp to make Niban Dashi.)
Add bonito flakes, bring water to the boil and immediately take pan off the heat. Allow flakes to settle for 1 minute, then pour through a sieve lined with muslin and reserve the flakes for the secondary dashi.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)