Dashi is a traditional Japanese soup stock made from kelp and katsuobushi that's used in many Japanese dishes, including miso soup, chawanmushi, and agedashi tofu.

What is Dashi

The 1st character 出 is the verbdasu, which means “to take out,” and the second character 汁 indicates juice or liquid. Read through together dashi literally means that the taste from 1 component has been taken out employing a liquid. This makes dashi the generic word for soup stock in Japanese. If it’s not certified with yet another term, this sort of as yasai dashi (vegetable inventory) or tori dashi (hen stock), the phrase dashi on your own normally refers to a standard Japanese soup stock produced with kelp and dried fish.

What is Hondashi?

Hondashi (ほんだし) is a manufacturer title which virtually indicates “real dashi.” It will come in dried granules that seem a little bit like beige colored coffee crystals and melt practically instantaneously on make contact with with water. The irony here is that Hondashi is loaded with MSG and flavorings. While practical and broadly used, it is not just a yardstick by which good dashi must be judged. These days there are several other equally convenient alternate options to generating dashi from scratch, which is why I really don’t suggest using quick dashi granules.

What about Dashi Packs?

Dashi packs are porous satchels holding powdered substances for dashi these kinds of as konbu and katsuobushi. They are a comparatively current creation supposed to bridge the gap amongst the ease of utilizing powdered dashi granules and the taste of creating dashi from scratch. Even though there are several brand names creating dashi packs, the price tag is a reasonably good indicator of the quality of the components in the satchels. A single of my personalized favorites is a brand name known as Kayanoya, and their dashi packs are offered in the US.

Ingredients for Japanese Dashi

Konbu (昆布 – kelp)

Dried konbu, or kelp is loaded with glutamic acids and used to make Japanese dashi stock.
Like any dwelling point, the flavor of konbu is influenced by several factors like temperatures, currents, and the vitamins carried in individuals currents. The harvesting, processing, and curing of konbu can also have an impact on its flavor, and as a consequence, Japan has forty five types of konbu.

The northern island of Hokkaido is possibly the most renowned konbu creating area, and it is divided into 6 areas creating a assortment of konbu which includes Rishiri (Northern Hokkaido), Rausu(Japanese Hokkaido), and Ma-konbu (Southern Hokkaido). Of these 3, Rishiri is usually regarded as the finest, thanks to the very clear umami-wealthy dashi it generates. Ma-konbu is the workhorse of the bunch, generating a light, clear dashi. The konbu from Rausu, on the other hand, is really savory, producing darker colored dashi that preferences almost meaty. This tends to make it properly suited for use in plant-based cooking as it does not truly need to have the addition of dried fish.

Konbu makes these kinds of very good dashi because it is loaded with in a natural way happening glutamic acids which stimulate the umami taste receptors in your mouth. A Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda, isolated this compound from konbu, which turned a basis for the chemically synthesized foodstuff additive monosodium glutamate. Prior to you freak out and ban konbu from your pantry, glutamic acids are located in practically all plants and animals (which includes people). Since proteins are just amino acids (this kind of as glutamate) linked jointly to type chains, our bodies are practically constructed out of these compounds.

Katsuobushi (鰹節 – preserved skipjack tuna)

Katsuobushi is made by cooking, drying, smoking and fermenting skipjack tuna and it's the primary flavor of dashi stock.
When paired with konbu, katsuobushi is the most widespread ingredient for producing Japanese dashi. The process begins by filleting, cooking, drying and smoking cigarettes Skipjack Tuna. To conserve time, a lot of areas these times will fully dry the smoked fillets at this point, trimming off the black exterior the ensuing aragatsuo (荒節) is then shaved into flakes which are bought as hanakatsuo (花鰹).

For a true katsuobushi, there is a final fermentation phase included. The smoked fillets of tuna are inoculated with Aspergillus Glaucus, and left to ferment and dry. This final phase can be repeated many times to produce larger grades of Katsuobushi acknowledged as karebushi and honkarebushi. Within Japan, Makurazaki (Kagoshima), Ibuski (Kagoshima), Yaizu(Shizukouka), generate the bulk of Katsuobushi nonetheless, there are now factories all around the entire world generating low-top quality knock-offs to satisfy increasing worldwide demand.

In addition to glutamic acids, katsuobushi also consists of a high concentration of inosine monophosphate (IMP), which is yet another compound responsible for triggering the style of umami. With each other, these compounds have a synergistic influence which is why dashi is usually manufactured making use of each konbu and katsuobushi.

Niboshi or Iriko (煮干し or いりこ – dried infant anchovies)

Niboshi (known as Iriko in Western Japan), is one more kind of dried seafood that generates strong dashi that is fairly fishy. It is generally produced by boiling and drying child fish (typically Japanese Anchovies). Even though dashi produced with Niboshi is utilized throughout Japan, it is most typically utilised on the island of Shikoku.

Back (あご – grilled dried traveling fish)

Also recognized as yakiago (焼きあご), this ingredient is manufactured by partly drying and then grilling traveling fish in excess of charcoal just before entirely drying it. It makes strong umami-abundant dashi which is smoky, and slightly fishy. It is most frequently utilized on the southern island of Kyushu.

Shiitake (椎茸

Most frequently employed for plant-dependent Shojin Cuisine (精進料理), shiitake dashi can also be blended with other types of dashi to insert yet another dimension of flavor to seafood-based mostly dashi. In contrast to with dashi manufactured from dried fish, shiitake dashi is produced by soaking dried shiitake mushrooms in chilly drinking water. Based on the size of the shiitake, this procedure takes everywhere from two-three several hours, but it can also be still left to soak right away. The ensuing liquid is your dashi, and you can use the rehydrated mushrooms for something else.

Miso Soup, Agedashi Tofu, and Chawanmushi all start with a good dashi stock, and this easy dashi recipe comes together from two ingredients in minutes.

How to make Dashi from scratch

Ahead of I get commenced, I must point out that there are a lot of techniques of generating dashi, and what I’m heading to share with you is a strategy I uncovered from a Japanese chef that I’ve refined more than the years.

Not like producing a Western-style inventory, dashi only calls for a number of minutes of cooking time. That currently being explained, you do need to strategy in advance, as the 1st stage calls for soaking the konbu in drinking water right away. I normally do this in a h2o bottle due to the fact it’s less difficult to retailer in the fridge, but you can use a bowl, or even the pot you program to make the dashi in.

The primary reason for cold extracting the taste from konbu (as opposed to boiling it) is that konbu releases a mucilaginous compound when cooked, and it is usually not attractive to have viscous dashi. Also, some varieties of konbu can be really thick, and the quick cooking time for dashi is not adequate to entirely rehydrate the konbu.

The ensuing stock from this very first phase is called konbu dashi (昆布出汁). It’s a plant-based inventory which is loaded with glutamic acids which are the in a natural way occurring amino acids in konbu that encourage the umami flavor receptors in your mouth. Whilst konbu dashi can be employed as is, it’s generally fortified by incorporating some dried seafood this sort of as katsuobushi.

Unlike konbu, katsuobushi calls for the application of some heat to get the flavor out of the flakes. Applying too considerably warmth, nonetheless, results in the extraction of some severe flavors that are a outcome of the smoking procedure. This is why I like to bring the konbu dashi up to a boil and then lower the heat before I add the katsuobushi. Then, I allow this steep for 3-four minutes before straining the dashi.

A good dashi is the key to good miso soup, and this easy dashi recipe uses just 2 ingredients and comes together in minutes.

How to use Dashi

Dashi is a pillar of Japanese meals, and is one particular of the components that gives Japanese food it is distinct taste. Here are just a number of Japanese Recipes that attribute dashi as a main ingredient:

Dashi (出汁)


Generate: 4 cups Dashi

Prep Time: one moment

Prepare dinner Time: 3 minutes

soaking time: three hours

Whole Time: four minutes



  • 4 one/four


  • 10


  • 15



  1. Insert the konbu to the drinking water and soak for at least 3 hours. You can retailer this konbu dashi in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    Konbu (kelp) soaking in cold water to make Dashi.
  2. Get rid of the konbu and bring the dashi to a boil (you can use the konbu for anything else).

    Konbu dashi boiling in a stainless steel pot.
  3. Turn off the warmth, and incorporate the katsuobushi. Permit this steep for 3-four minutes.

    Katsuobushi added to dashi stock.
  4. Pressure the dashi and use it proper absent, or allow it awesome totally and store it in the fridge.

    Straining the solids out of dashi stock.

Nutrition Details

Dashi (出汁)

Volume For every Serving


% Every day Benefit*








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