What is Dashi?
Dashi is the building block of Japanese cuisine. It’s the essential soup base used in many Japanese recipes.
It’s made of water, kombu seaweed (a type of kelp) and shaved bonito flakes.
Once you’ve mastered the basic techniques of making this stock, everything will taste just like the best Japanese restaurants.
The recipe calls for only three (3) ingredients:
- Kombu or Japanese dry seaweed
- Dry shaved bonito flakes
The best kombu are called Ma-Kombu (giant kelp) and Rishiri-Kombu (from Rishiri in Hokkaido). They are famous for being the highest quality kombu in Japan.
How to Make Dashi?
It’s very easy to make the broth at home and the active time is very short.
Even though you can buy instant dashi granules and powder, the taste is usually MSG-laden and inferior compared to homemade stock.
The best dashi has a nice light brown color, very clear and not cloudy or murky.
Here are my cooking tips:
- Buy high quality dry shaved bonito flakes.
- Choose well-dried, thick and aromatic kombu seaweed, preferably Rishiri-Kombu from Hokkaido.
- Wipe the surface of kombu seaweed and remove the dirt with a kitchen towel or paper towel. DO NOT remove the white powder on the surface as it creates umami taste.
- Do not squeeze the bonito flakes. This will generate an unpleasant fishy smell.
- Make the stock in small quantity or as needed. Keep it as fresh as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Freeze Dashi Stock?
Yes, you can. To ensure freshness, make small amount of the stock and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze the stock in an ice tray.
Is Dashi Healthy?
Yes, it’s very healthy. It’s also halal. It’s very light and non-greasy.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
This recipe yields 3 cups of dashi stock with only 32 calories per cup.
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- 1 piece kombu, 6x6-inch
- 4 cups water
- 1 oz shaved dried bonito flakes
- Wipe the surface of the kombu seaweed with a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove dirt. DO NOT remove the white powder on the kombu. In a stock pot, add the water and the kombu together. Let it steep for 30 minutes.
- Place the stock pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Remove the kombu immediately. Add the shaved dried bonito flakes and stir it once to mix in. As soon as the liquid boils again, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove any scum that appears on the surface.
- Turn off the heat and let the liquid steep for 15 minutes. Strain it through a fine sieve/strainer or cheesecloth. Don't squeeze the bonito because it would make the dashi cloudy and generate an unpleasant fishy smell. Discard the bonito flakes after use.
- You may refrigerate the dashi broth for up to 3 days, or freeze in an ice tray.
Serving Size3 cups
Amount Per Serving Calories 32Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 6mgSodium 44mgCarbohydrates 1gSugar 1gProtein 6g