Korean dashi soup (base) for making any soups!

Korean dashi soup (base) for making any soups!

Korean dashi soup (base) for making any soups!

Tea Name:

Korean dashi soup (base) 

Nature:  Cool

Taste:  Sweet, Salty

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I learned this from a Korean Auntie that I have in Toronto, which has a huge and beautiful Korean community in the area I live in.  And even if you go to the Korean supermarkets nearby, you’ll find a lot of these aunties combing the fresh goodies and meats and ask them!!  The knowledge in there is amazing!

I actually learned this because I wanted to learn how to make a Tofu Kimchi soup and Koreans will start with a soup base first and then span out to the various types of Korean soups available such as: spicy beef soup with vegetables, any kimchi soup, kimchi tofu soup, any tofu soups, rice soup cake, and more!

 

There are also a few variations of this Korean dashi, but the key really is the anchovies and seaweed.  Some will add fresh onions, fresh white radish, fresh garlic, fresh scallions, or fresh ginger or dried shiitake mushrooms.  Dashi is actually a Japanese name for soup broth and is also recognized in Korean cuisine as dashi.  It’s so commonplace that it’s the equivalent to chicken broth in powdered and canned form.  You can also buy dashi in both prepared powdered and liquid form so you don’t have to prepare it yourself and have readily available soup at your disposal!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 10 bowls of dashi (soup broth)

Ingredients
  • 5 L of fresh water
  • 25-30 dried anchovies, heads removed
  • 1 large sheet of dried kelp 
  • half fresh white radish, with skin peeled and thinly sliced
  • optional, 2-3 fresh slices of ginger (which can help remove some of the fishy flavours and scents from the soups – this is a Chinese trick that we use for fish soups, too!)

     

    Cooking Instructions
    1. Remove the heads from your dried anchovies and put them into your soup pot.  No washing or cleaning is needed, just simply remove from the bag.
    2. Remove the dried seaweed sheet from the packaging and snap into pieces to fit into the pot and put into the pot
    3. Peel your white radish (enough to remove all the skin if you plan to eat it, as the skin can be quite tough and unpleasant to eat) and slice into 1 cm thick slices (or any thickness you’d like)
    4. Put everything into your soup pot
    5. Add in the water
    6. Boil on high for 10 minutes, covered
    7. Reduce boil to another 20 minutes
    8. Strain all the ingredients, separating the liquid from the soup goodies 
    9. This strained soup is your dashi!  You can use directly as is into your soup of choice or put into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    I made this kimchi and soft tofu soup served on rice for dinner after making my dashi and it was amazing! 

    There are so many soups now that you can extend from your dashi soup base, changing up the protein or vegetables or spice levels!

    The great thing with the dashi is that I made a small pot of this kimchi and soft tofu soup for 1 person (using this super cute ceramic pot) and customized the level of spicy, kimchi, and other ingredients.  So I basically made 3 of these little portions for the family to pick and choose from!

    For example, the kids didn’t want that much spice or cabbage, so I added some bak choy (OK, my Chinese fusion again), slice sausages, and some instant noodles!  You can totally get creative with these little pots!! 

     

    And this is the vegetarian version of the dashi, except definitely a Japanese inpired version using only the white radish, dried seaweed (or kombu) and shiitake mushrooms.  I’ve also added white onions and green onions to create that delicious umami flavour of this clean soup!

    I ended up using this as a soup base for rice cakes and my favourite toppings for dinner for the whole family!  Delicious!

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    Kimchi, Tofu and Beef Soup

    Kimchi, Tofu and Beef Soup

    Soup Name: Kimchi, Tofu and Beef Soup

    Traditional Chinese Name: 泡菜豆腐牛肉湯 (pàocài dòu fu niú ròu tāng)

    Introduction:

    This is a Korean dish that I love eating.  I say eat because of the volume of ingredients, it turns into a stew that packs a bunch (in terms of spiciness) and nutrients.  The ingredients are readily available and it’s not your traditional old fire soups because you can make this in about half an hour.  And of course, it’s flexible in that you can add your favorite ingredients to make it more wholesome.  My husband and I literally had this for dinner (only), the kids of course, couldn’t take the spiciness, so they didn’t have any.  You can serve this with rice, rice noodles, noodles or add any other starches to really make it filling.

    What Ingredients are required?

    Soup Ingredients

    20 fresh clams
    1 whole fresh radish, cubed
    1 tablespoon of hot chili oil
    1 pound of fresh beef slices
    3 cloves of fresh garlic, diced
    1 fresh onion, sliced
    380g of kimchi
    1/2 head of fresh cabbage, sliced
    1 L of chicken broth
    2-3 L of water
    1 pack of fresh tofu, chunked
    1 cup of fresh green onions, diced
    1 fresh egg, per serving (optional)

    Beef Marinade

    1 tablespoon of soy sauce
    1 tablespoon of cornstarch
    1 tablespoon of hot chili oil
    1 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)

    How do I prepare it?

    1. Pre-marinade the beef with the soy sauce, cornstarch, chili oil and chili powder at least 1 hour before cooking.  Cover and set aside in the fridge.
    2. In a pot of boiling water, add the fresh clams (already soaking in fresh water).  Once the clams open, remove immediately from the water and set aside.
    3. Wash, peel and cube the radish.  You can re-use the clam water to boil the radish until they are soft (use a chopstick to see if you can smoothly poke through a radish, if so, it’s sufficiently soft).
    4. In a large pot on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of hot chili oil, garlic and fry beef until half-cooked.  Remove from pot.
    5. In the same large pot, fry onions until cooked.  Add half-cooked beef  and kimchi.  Continue to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
    6. Add cabbage to the beef and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat, while continuously stirring.
    7. Pour in chicken broth and water to the mixture and turn on high heat.  Boil on high for 10 minutes.
    8. When ready to serve, add in tofu, cooked clams and green onions.  Boil together for another 2-3 minutes.
    9. As optional, you can add 1 fresh egg (whole) into the soup and scoop out along with soup per serving.  Be careful not to pop the egg and for plating, place on top, in the middle of the soup.
    10. Enjoy!

    Any benefits?

    • Soup is versatile in that you can add other ingredients such as chicken, pork, dumplings, rice noodles, and other leafy greens
    • A quick boil soup that is easy to make
    • Serves as a meal
    • Helps keep the body warm and promote blood circulation
    • Soup is low in fat and high in proteins
    • Excellent source of dietary fibers

    Any precautions?

    • The soup spiciness may be harm or upset sensitive stomachs (you can vary the kimchi, hot chili oil or chili powder amounts as desired)
    • If spiciness is a concern, you can also rinse the kimchi in cold water before using in soups

    Step 4: Fresh beef slices fried with garlic

    Step 5:  Fried onions with kimchi

    Step 8:  Add tofu to soup (with cooked clams) before serving