Porcini and Parmesan Dashi

Porcini and Parmesan is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dashi, or Asian cuisine for that matter. When I pulled out a block of parm, my mom was perplexed and asked if I was even still making ramen. Dashi is a very pure stock: Water, Kombu, and Katsuobushi. Some add dried shiitake mushroom, but the dashi purists will not take it further than that. However with the creation of ramen, we need to think outside of the box, experiment, and break the mold. We gotta do it for science! 

The process is relatively simple. I heated up the Parmesan and porcini to extra the glutamate and synergetic umami components out of them. In order to keep the steep time relatively low I grated the cheese with a microplane and grinded the porcini mushrooms to increase the surface area. The cheese melted almost instantly and in less than minute most of the flavor left the cheese. The cheese imparted a creamy rounded flavor and left some of the delicious oil from the milk fats. I added the grounded porcini powder and it only took a few minutes to extract most of the flavor from the powder. The one downside of using porcini mushroom powder was that I was not able to strain out all of the solids. This made the dashi cloudier than what I would want for a clear ramen broth. Next time I will just crumble the dried porcini mushrooms instead of grinding it to preserve my broth clarity.

Despite the dashi being cloudy, the dried porcini and parmesan gave the dashi stock a deep earthy umami punch. Besides salt there is not much else that you will need to add to this to make a delicious broth.