What Is Dashi?
Dashi is a Japanese stock and it is a basic ingredient in many Japanese dishes. Dashi can be made from dried Kombu only (see vegetarian recipe below), or from Kombu and dried and smoked bonito/skipjack tuna that is shaved into thin flakes and/or anchovies/sardines.
These ingredients are all rich in naturally occurring glutamates and provide a savory umami flavor to the stock. You don’t need to season the food very much if you have good dashi.
Dashi is used in many Japanese dishes, such as miso soup, noodle soup and various rice dishes. The clear broth tastes like the essence of the sea!
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 oz dried Kombu
- 1/2 -1 oz dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi), optional
Combine water and Kombu in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Remove the Kombu just before the water comes to a boil. Be careful not to boil the Kombu as it makes the broth thicker with a different flavor. Add the bonito flakes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat and let the bonito flakes steep in the broth for an additional 5 minutes. Strain the bonito flakes from the broth using a strainer lined with cheesecloth. The broth can be used right away, refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 2 months.
6 cups cold water
1 oz dried Kombu
Combine water and Kombu in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Remove the Kombu just before the water comes to a boil.
The dashi is ready to use after removing the Kombu. For even more deeply flavored dashi, steep the Kombu in the cold water overnight before heating.
- You can use the Kombu pieces once more to make “second dashi” or in other dishes.
- Bonito flakes (katsuobushi) are available at Japanese grocers or in the Asian section of most large supermarkets.