Today I want to share how to make an anchovy stock called Iriko Dashi (いりこだし) in Japanese. To create authentic Japanese flavor, making dashi is an inevitable step for Japanese cooking.
I know, “dashi” sounds unfamiliar and you may feel reluctant to try…
But! Check this out. Typical dashi recipes require:
- 1-2 ingredients (at most)
- total of 20 minutes for active prep/cook time
It’s much faster than making vegetable or chicken stock, right? 🙂
We make different types of dashi depending on types of food that it goes well with. I know, it may sound a little bit complicated but there is no rule for which dashi you use. For my daily cooking, I use mostly Awase Dashi which is a basic all-purpose stock that goes well with most Japanese recipes. To read more about details in dashi topic, please check my main Dashi page.
Iriko Dashi is most commonly used for making miso soup as the bold miso flavor goes well with strong fish aroma (but does NOT taste fishy in flavor). As dried iriko are more affordable in price than katsuobushi or kombu, and Japanese drink miso soup almost every day, using iriko dashi for miso soup is a very common choice.
Anchovy stock is also a basic stock for Korean cuisine, and the process of making stock is very similar to one for Japanese cuisine. For those who cannot find katsuobushi, you can try finding these dried baby anchovies/sardines from a Korean grocery stores to make Iriko Dashi.
Here’s a short video on How To Make Iriko Dashi. It’s very simple, as you can see in the video. I hope you enjoy!
- About 1 cup (1.4 oz., 40 g) iriko (dried baby anchovies/sardines)
- 4 cups (1000 ml) water
- This is an extra step and not everyone follows this method, but I highly recommend to remove the head and tummy parts to reduce bitter flavor in iriko dashi.
- Soak the iriko in the 4 cups of water for 20-30 minutes, preferably overnight.
- Transfer the water and iriko into a small saucepan and slowly bring the water to a boil.
- When boiling, skim and reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove from the heat and drain into a sieve in a bowl lined with paper towel. Gently squeeze the paper towel to drain all liquid and now the dashi is ready for use. Any extra dashi needs to be refrigerated and used within 3 days or freeze for later use.
- You can make Tazukuri (Candied Sardine) with leftover iriko. If you don't make it right away, you can freeze the iriko and defrost to make it later on.
Inactive time (soaking iriko) is not included to Prep/Cook time.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.