Mamiko Nishiyama, a kanbutsu maestro — a master of preserved foods — will share the culture and history of dashi, and also give practical information on how to integrate dashi ingredients in your daily cooking on Saturday, March 22, at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

Mamiko Nishiyama
Mamiko Nishiyama

Nishiyama is the proprietor of Yagicho Honten, a 300-year-old family-owned traditional Japanese grocery shop in Nihonbashi, Tokyo and the leading producer of dashi products like dried bonito flakes, konbu seaweeds, shiitake mushrooms, and bean products.

At 10 a.m., Nishiyama will give a talk on “Umami and Dashi: The Taste of Japan,” moderated and translated by Sonoko Sakai of Common Grains, as part of the Tateuchi Public Program Series. Dashi tastings will accompany the free seminar.

At 11 a.m., Nishiyama will present “Introduction to the Japanese Pantry: Cooking with Dashi” as part of the Lifelong Learning Series.

Learn how to cook with dashi, a foundation used in many Japanese cuisines such as miso soup, in this hands-on workshop. Nishiyama and Sakai will show you how to prepare dashi for making miso soup, salad dressing, and seasoning to make rice and stews.

Menu includes:

Soups with dried bonito, sardines, konbu and shiitake

Umami-rich chicken and vegetable somen noodles

Gomoku rice (rice with vegetables) and tamago (egg omelet)

A light and clean spinach nori ohitashi salad

Koji marinated cabbage, carrot and cucumber pickles

(Menu is subject to change depending on availability of ingredients.)

Fee for the workshop is $75 for members, $85 for non-members, which includes admission and supplies.

For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit

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