To enjoy the flavor of freshly ground dashi at home
Boil the entire bag in hot water to release the rich aroma and mellow flavor. “Kaoru Aji Dashi” is an authentic dashi packet that is the pride of Niben, which has been handing down the “dashi culture since the Edo period.
The impetus for product development came from the great popularity of the※150 yen per cup bonito flake dashi using freshly shaved bonito flakes offered at the Nihonbashi Dashiba main store, which opened in 2010. The development of this product began with the desire to bring the taste and aroma of authentic dashi to the home through product sales.
“It took us more than two years to create a manufacturing method product that prevents quality deterioration due to oxidation of the ingredients,” says president Ihei Takatsu. If the dried bonito flakes are sealed with the water content intact, the salt absorbs the water and the flavor is lost. On the other hand, the flavor of dried bonito flakes is lost if they are dried with hot air, which is the usual method. “Through trial and error, we developed a new drying method that preserves the flavor, and by individually packaging the dried bonito flakes in a film with a high oxygen barrier, we were able to preserve the flavor and aroma right up to the moment of use.”
※This prices have been changed since October 2023.
Ninben also pay close attention to the ingredients. Honkare dried bonito flakes, the symbol of Ninben, are the highest grade of bonito flakes that have been aged through repeated molding and drying in the sun. To maximize the flavor of the bonito flakes, the salt is made from the mineral-rich sun-dried seawater of Christmas Island, and the soy sauce is made from Chiba Soy Sauce’s traditional wooden-bottomed special dark soy sauce. The bonito and kelp are made with Hokkaido kelp, and the yakiago-infused version is made with domestically produced yakiago-in (grilled) sardines.
“The bonito has a clean taste, the bonito and kelp have a deep taste due to the synergy of umami, and the yakiago (grilled sardines) has a savory and rich taste,” says Mr. Takatsu. The dashi can also be used as a seasoning for a wide range of home use. It is ideal as a dashi for simmered dishes and noodle soup, but we also recommend using it as a flavor enhancer for fried rice, pasta, potato salad, etc.,” says Takatsu.
A new flavor, “Vegetable and Kelp,” is scheduled to join the lineup in the fall of 2023. The pleasure of enjoying freshly ground soup stock in the comfort of your own home is about to expand.