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Dashi - The essence of Japan

Posted on February 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Jubei Yagi - Proprietor of Yaghi-cho - Katsuobushi shop

The Common Grains project has finally arrived at the final destination - Soba-ya in Torrance. Doing event after event is like running a long distance marathon with pots on my back. I have a dent in hub cap and a scratch on my new Prius, not to mention the car has not been washed in weeks; I got one traffic ticket, and lost my I-phone.   Otherwise,we've been sailing smoothly, and the people have responded very well to our soba.  This makes me very happy, and there are a few more events before we wrap at the end of the month.

Common Grians is offering its final soba pop up at Soba-ya until Feb 21, featuring handmilled soba. One of the highlights here is the upcoming dashi workshop, probably the first comprehensive dashi workshop to be held in LA, or maybe in the country!  

Karebushi (katuobushi) blocks on display at Yagicho 

Yagi-cho, a specialty dashi shop's owner, Mamiko Nishiyama, daughter of Chobei Yagi (picture above) will join us from Tokyo to do a Dashi workshop with me.  I wrote about Dashi and the shop in the LA Times. I have two big boxes plus what Nishiyama stuffed in her suitcase ful of bonito blocks, bonito flakes, dried sardines, a variety of konbu and wakame seaweed, donko shitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, soybeans. Nishiyama was so thrilled she passed through customs safely. If I had a way,  I would have moved their entire store here.  I wish Chobei Yagi would join us too but he is holding the fort. It turns out that Nishiyama went to grade school with me. I didn't remember until my sister reintroduced me to her 40 something years later.  Mamiko and I hit it off like old girlfriends. What fun.


Here are two pieces of mature Karebushi - katsuobushi blocks. The upper part and lower part of the fish. 4 blocks makes a whole. 
Jubei Yagi taps two karebushis together. He can tell by the sound how good the karebushi is.

He takes a sip of freshly brewed dashi. It's delicious.







Categories: Pickles and Preserves

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1 Comment

Reply Michael Malone
1:19 PM on September 5, 2012 
Greetings, How can I contact the Yaghi-cho - Katsuobushi shop to see about placing an order for Katsuobushi?