To learn more about this recipe, click the following link to read the related story, "What to Eat Now: Tomatoes," in Tasting Table's National edition.
Tomato Water Dashi
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 10 hours straining and chilling)
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 15 minutes (plus 10 hours straining and chilling)
8 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped (about 8 cups)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups bonito flakes
1. Use a blender to combine the tomatoes, water and salt until completely smooth, about 30 seconds.
2. Line a colander with an 18-inch-long piece of cheesecloth, then place another 18-inch-long piece of cheesecloth across the first (so you have an "x"). Set the colander over a large bowl and pour the pureed tomatoes into the cheesecloth. Set a piece of plastic wrap flush over the top of the tomatoes and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
3. Use one hand to gather the corners of the cheesecloth together and lift the puree from the colander. Use your other hand to very, very gently squeeze the bottom of the cheesecloth to release some more tomato water without allowing any of the solids to come through. Discard the pulp and cheesecloth.
4. You should have about 4 cups of tomato water in the bowl. Add the bonito flakes to the tomato water, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and refrigerate for up to 1 week.