Total time: 2 hours || Active time: 20 minutes
(disclaimer: I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe alone, so I didn’t get a shot of the actual broth. This will have to do!)
Dashi, if you’re not familiar, is the deeply umami Japanese broth used to make ramen. Traditionally, it’s made with some fishy ingredients. Literally. Here, we’re simply making a veggie broth, with a healthy dose of kombu, for a slight taste of the sea, and miso, for that fermented deliciousness. I’m going to be posting a whole ramen recipe in just a bit, but I wanted to get the party started and get this broth up first. And you should totally read up more on dashi, its history and technique is definitely worthy of reading about in more than the few sentences I can afford to do here.
But why make your own broth? There are so many varieties available in the supermarket these days, that simmering your own can seem like a hassle. And maybe, compared to simply grabbing some off a shelf, it is. But creating your own scratch-made broth has many benefits. Not everything should be overlooked in the name of convenience!
So here are my top 10 reasons for making your own broth.
Taste is a great place to start. Plenty of pre-made broths taste anywhere from “just fine” to “pretty darn good.” But homemade is simply just better. Fresher, more aromatic, and endlessly customizable to your taste. Make it as salty as you like, add different veggies, more or less garlic, and on and on. And if taste isn’t incentive enough….
I know that you occasionally have an onion laying around, beginning to sprout. Or a few carrots just languishing in the fridge. And how about that last little nub of ginger that will probably wither away eventually. That is (almost) all you need to make this vegetable broth. So let’s just say it’s practically free.
3) Less wasteful
Less packaging and less processing…these things are all great for the planet. We need a planet so that we can do fun things like make vegetable broth!
There is a definite difference between being in a home that has a veggie broth simmering on the stovetop, it’s gentle aroma filling your senses…and being in a home that has bubkis. But honestly, the process of making the broth will improve your mood drastically. From the scent to the sense of accomplishment when sipping your soup, the therapeutic benefits are unsurmountable.
And now the cons…
1) One Passover, not long ago, I spent the day making a metric tonne of broth for the Matzoh Balls. Once it had cooled on the stovetop, my mom threw it out thinking it was garbage. What the hell, mom?
OK, so moms tossing out your creation aside, I’m assuming you’re now completely on board. Find a relaxing time, when you have plans to read or watch a movie or troll the internet or whatever, and then get brothing!