Dashi and black vinegar beef stew

This stew takes my favorite combo – dashi and black vinegar – to a new level. It’s an umami bomb—beefy, tangy, mildly smoky, and tongue prickly because of the yuzu kosho (fermented yuzu zest and chili). If you can’t find black vinegar or yuzu kosho near you, try ordering from Oakland local small business umami mart.

Serves 4-5


For the dashi: 

  • 4.5 cups water 
  • 1 cup bonito flakes
  • 1/3 oz kombu 

For the stew 

  • 2.5 llbs chuck roast, cut into stew chunks
  • 1+ tbs canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups of dashi
  • 1/3 cup black vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • About 2.5 cups of cubed kabocha or butternut squash.
  • 1.5 tsp red yuzu kosho

For the dashi

  1. Put the kombu and water in a pot and soak for 30 minutes 
  2. Bring water to simmer, turn off heat and remove kombu from the water. 
  3. Add bonito flakes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain and reserve your dashi.

For the stew 

  1. Heat a Dutch oven on the stove top and add the oil. Wait until oil shimmers.
  2. Brown meat on med high heat, about 2 minutes per side. Work in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Set aside.
  3. Add your onions and sauté over med heat until brown. Add more oil if needed.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for a few minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup dashi to deglaze the pan, using a spoon to scrape up all the fond into the sauce.
  6. Add beef back to the pan, along with the remaining dashi, black vinegar, mirin, and soy. Bring to simmer, then cover and put in the oven for 1.5 hours at 325.
  7. While the beef cooks, peel the lotus root and wash it thoroughly. Slice thinly and then cut ln half, to make a half moon shape.
  8. After 1.5 hours, test the beef. It should be getting tender. If it’s not tender yet, give it more time.
  9. Bring pot back to the stove top and add the squash, simmer until tender. About 15 minutes. If you need to, add more dashi or broth
  10. Add the yuzu kosho. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If too salty, add some water or unsalted broth and simmer until perfect 🙂