Dashi

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Insta-Flavor in a Jar
Cost: $6 for 8 ounces

Many Japanese cooks rely on dashi, a stock made with water, seaweed and dried fish flakes, for the savory taste known as umami. Rose is a huge fan, too; she buys it in a powdered form at her grocery store (she likes Hon Dashi by Ajinomoto), dissolves a smidgen in some water, and pours a few teaspoons into a stir-fry (the broth makes tofu and veggies taste as if they've been simmering in a delicious sauce for hours). If chicken or beef stocks are more familiar to you than dashi, though, Rose suggests keeping a jar of Better Than Bouillon in your fridge; the concentrated paste also delivers rich flavor in just a small amount. It's terrific with beans or lentils, or mashed potatoes, parsnips or cauliflower; just stir a teaspoon in with the butter and milk when you're pureeing the vegetables.
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