Made kombu dashi, agedashi tofu, miso soup, but the focus was on kombu dashi.
Kombu made from three different brands - Emerald Cove, Maine Coast, Hokkaido Mitoku - each soaked for about 9 hours each in 1.5 cups water. Turned out that after soaking, they bloomed into different sizes / weights, should have weighed up front. Emerald Cove was 14g, Hokkaido 27g, Maine Coast 36g. Experiment didn’t work that well since the more weight kombu ones had way more color. Surprisingly though Emerald Cove although much lighter in color did taste way sweeter than Hokkaido. Hokkaido had similar umami to Maine, Emerald Cove was much less.
Hokkaido one also did a batch sous vide at 149F, 28g. Both the other taste testers thought that one was better in blind taste test. I couldn’t really tell a big difference.
What made the biggest difference was after adding salt and soy sauce to any of them, it tasted much better.
Recipes were from:
Miso soup was dashi + 4 cups water + 3 tablespoon miso + tofu cubes. It tasted alright, but not as complex or savory of flavor as in a restaurant. Not sure what could be done differently.
Agedashi tofu we covered in breadcrumbs and shallow fried. Coating didn’t stick too well but was crunchy, tofu very bland. Next time should definitely salt the tofu before (and maybe after) breading. Dashi, soy sauce, green onions added okay flavor. Chili oil was very good but made it not taste Japanese.
Sous vide is probably better technique to do for dashi, given general consensus, but it’s really not a huge difference. It also only took 1 hour, much less prep time.
Weighing ingredients beforehand is very important for a balanced test.
Test katsuoboshi differences in dashi.
How do we get the cloudy look and complex taste of restaurant miso soup?