|This subtle, flavor-enhancing stock can be made in a very short time using only kombu and water. Simply combine 4-6 cups of water and a 6-inch piece of dried kombu in a saucepan. Allow the kombu to soak for about 15-20 minutes.
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Bring just to a simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, gently simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the kombu. This technique gives the most delicate and delicious results. Make sure to reserve the kombu - it can be cooked with beans or vegetables, or reused one or two times for making more stock.
If reusing the kombu to make stock, bring water to a boil, add kombu, then reduce heat and simmer 10-20 minutes. Lightly scoring the kombu will help release the amino acid responsible for its flavor-intensifying effect. For a more flavorful variation, see Shiitake Dashi in the Shiitake section of this web site.