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