a subtle base for soup, stock or noodle dishes

2 medium shiitake mushrooms, dried or fresh
4 ounces daikon, scrubbed, sliced thin
2 large or 4 small scallions/ green onions, 1 inch pieces
1/4 C celery leaves, chopped
1/2 t sea salt (for sodium restricted diets, use 'lite' salt)

If using dried shiitakes, place in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup hot water. Set aside to soften for 15 minutes. If using fresh shiitakes, rinse lightly.

Place all the ingredients, including the soaking liquid if using dried shiitakes, in a medium saucepan. Add 6 cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes, or until the daikon is soft. Strain, reserving the shiitakes and daikon for another dish and discarding the other remaining vegetables.

Vegetable Dashi may be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for longer, but the flavor is best when used soon after preparation.

6 - 1 cup servings, each 8.2 calories:   7% from fat (0.07 g),  80% from carbohydrates (1.85 g),  13% from protein (0.31 g).  Sodium 191 mg,  Fiber .7 g.

Healing Heart Hint

After straining, the shiitakes and daikon pulp may be reserved for use in another dish or can be added to a salad.

For a slightly different flavor, also a traditional favorite, add a half a dozen snow peas when cooking.

Be careful when buying prepared dashi mixes. They usually contain bonito (fish) flakes or powder, monosodium glutamate and large amounts of salt.

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©2000 Dr. Neal Pinckney Healing Heart Foundation