How to Make a Simple Vegetable Stock
- When preparing a day’s worth of meals, save all the ends, skins and discarded parts of the vegetables you are using. Make sure to clean off any dirt or rotted pieces. Not enough in a day? Then refrigerate the cuttings and continue to gather the odds and ends until you have enough to fill a medium to large saucepan or soup pot.
- When ready, place all the pieces in the pot and cover the vegetables with water to about 2 inches above the top. At this point, you can add your favorite herbs, garlic, onion and sea salt to make a richer flavor. Cover the pot, heat to a low boil, and reduce to a simmer.
- It is best to simmer the vegetables in the evening, right after dinner, so the stock can cook for a good 2-3 hours. Then, just before bedtime, turn off the heat, leave the pot covered and let it sit overnight. In the morning, strain the stock through a metal strainer, discarding the vegetables. You can do a final strain through cheesecloth placed inside the strainer.
- Pour stock into containers and refrigerate what you will be using, and freeze extras for a future soup.
How to Make Japanese Dashi
- In a large stockpot, soak one piece kombu sea vegetable and half a cup sliced (or 3 whole dried) shiitake mushrooms in 8 cups of water.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, turn off heat and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Remove kombu and add vegetables. Use dashi to make soup or as a base for rice and noodles.