The third dashi that I am going to focus on in this post is Anchovy Stock known as Niboshi Dashi or Iriko dashi in Japanese. The main umami component is inosinic acid same as Bonito dashi, so Anchovy stock can replace Katsuo(bonito) dashi broth.
What is Anchovy stock(Niboshi/Iriko dashi)?
It is one of the Japanese dashi stock made from dried infant anchovies/sardines. Niboshi is boiled (ni) and dried (boshi) baby anchovies/sardines. They are also known as “Iriko” or “Jako” in Japanese.
Types of Niboshi
Similar to Katsuo(bonito) and Konbu(Kelp), there are different types of Niboshi too, depending on what types of fish are used to make the Niboshi. One is a whitish colour small fish called Shiro(white)kuchi and the another is blueish colour which called Ao(blue)kuchi. Aokuchi has a stronger fishy flavour.
Where can I get Niboshi from?
Niboshi(dried sardines/anchovies) can be purchased from Japanese or Asian grocery stores. If there isn’t any grocery stores near you, you can also buy them online. Avoid dried fish which with a rip in the belly or oxidised oil stains.
Two Methods to Make Niboshi Dashi
1.Steeping in Water Overnight (Mizudashi)
Pluck off heads and remove entrails of the dried baby anchovies. Parch the prepared dried anchovies without using any oil in a frying pan for a few minutes. Fill a container with cold water and add the dry roasted infant anchovies. Let stand overnight. Strain the dashi next morning.
2.Steeping & Simmereing (Nidashi)
Preparation of dried baby anchovies is same as Mizudashi. The heads, and entrails need to be removed. Place the niboshi in a saucepan with water to steep for 30 minutes. Then put the saucepan over medium heat. When the water boils, turn it down to low heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove scam off the surface sometime. Strain anchovy stock through a kitchen paper towel lined sieve.
Tips to make deliciously
- Remove the heads and entrails carefully. We don’t want wo extract bitter taste from heads and entrails.
- When you use steeping & simmering method, once the water boil, turn the heat down to low to simmer and remove scam off the surface carefully. Extract the umami flavour slowly for simmering 3-5 minutes over low heat.
How to store the dashi?
It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. You can also freeze it in an ice tray. When It is frozen, take them out of the ice tray and place the dashi cubes in a ziplock bag. In this way, it is convenient to thaw the amount you need.
Q: What do I do with the leftover anchovies after the broth is made?
Same as Katsuo dashi and Kombu dashi, you can make Tsukudani or Furikake with anchovies left over. Place left over dried baby sardines in a saucepan with 2 tbsp of the dashi, 1 tbsp each of sugar, sake and soy sauce. Cook over medium heat until the liquid ingredients almost evaporate.
Q: What Japanese Dishes can I use this dashi for?
Dashi plays a fundamental role in Japanese cuisine. It ultimately determines the overall taste of the Japanese dishes. Mastering Dashi makes cooking Japanese food more fun and definitely more flavourful! Learn how to prepare 5 different dashi broth .
- Katsuo (bonito flake) Dashi
- Kombu (dried kelp) Dashi
- Niboshi (dried infant anchovies/sardine) Dashi
- Shiitake (dried shiitake mushroom) Dashi
- Awase (combined) Dashi
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- 1 oz/30 g Dried Infant anchovies/sardines *1
- 4 cups/1 liter Water
Steep (Mizudashi) method
- Pluck off heads and remove entrails of the dried baby anchovies. *2
- Place the prepared dried anchovies in a small saucepan over low-medium heat to dry roast them for a few minutes without using any oil.
- Fill a container with cold water and add the dry roasted infant anchoivies.
- Let it stand overnight.
- Line a sieve with a sheet of kitchen paper towel and place it over a large bowl.
- Strain the dashi into the large bowl. *3
- Use it for cooking or store in the fridge. *4
Steep & Simmer (Nidashi) Method
- Pluck off heads and remove entrails of the dried baby anchovies.
- Place the prepared baby anchovies in a saucepan with water to steep for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes steeping, put the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to the boil.
- When the stock boils, turn the heat down to low and simmer it for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove any scum off the surface as often as it necessary. *5
- Strain the stock through a kitchen paper towel lined sieve.
- Use it for cooking or store in the fridge. *4
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