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For ichiban dashi, put kombu and 4 cups water into a small pot and heat over medium-high heat until water almost begins to boil.
Transfer kombu to a small bowl; set aside to use for later if making niban dashi.
Add 1/4 cup cold water to pot with kombu-infused water, then add bonito flakes.
When water returns to a boil remove pot from heat and set aside to let stand for 1 minute.
Strain contents of pot into a large bowl; reserve strained bonito flakes to make niban dashi, if you like. Serve ichiban dashi right away or use it as a base to make clear soups.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add remaining 1 cup bonito flakes and remove pot from heat. Set aside to let stand for 1 minute, then strain contents of pot; discard solids.
Serve niban dashi right away, or use it as a base for thick soups or sauce.