We love to use some of the flavours of Japan in our cooking. Dashi, in its most popular form, is a broth made by making a stock containing kombu (seaweed) and kezurikatsuo (fermented Tuna).
Having found some great mushrooms at our local Waitrose supermarket in Yorkshire, we decided to make an Asian mushroom dashi. The pressed leeks are a simple yet tasty terrine that can be kept in the fridge. It looks great as a garnish for numerous starters. When we make the dashi broth we think it is always a good idea to make more than we need then we can freeze what we don’t need. We are planning to serve our excess dashi on Christmas Day with pre-dinner canapes.
For the Dashi, trim your assorted mushrooms and then place all the trim (stalks etc) in a pot.
1/2 cup soy
1 Tablespoon honey
1 stick celery (small dice)
1 carrot (small dice)
3 Tablespoon sherry
1 stick lemon grass (bruised with back of knife)
2 ltr water
1 sheet Nori (sushi seaweed sheet)
Bring all ingredients to a boil then simmer for half an hour. Remove from heat and allow to steep and cool then strain. Taste and adjust seasoning.
For the pressed leeks:
5-6 small leeks
Line a terrine mold with plastic wrap.
Trim the leeks then blanch in salted water until tender. At that point shock them in an ice water bath. Trim off outside leaves and use them to line your terrine mold.
Place the leeks in the mold with a few tarragon leaves and season each layer. Press over night.
To serve, slice the pressed leeks and allow to come up to room temperature. Heat the dashi then add sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Check the seasoning then pour over the pressed leek and serve.