Easy Japanese Recipes

How To Make Dashi だし 作り方

How To Make Dashi | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Today’s recipe is back to the basics.  When you decide to make Japanese food, you will realize that a lot of recipes require dashi.  With this unfamiliar ingredient, you may think it’s not easy to cook Japanese food.  However, it’s very simple, quick and easy to make dashi from scratch, and you will be well equipped to make more delicious Japanese food after this post (I hope!).

Dashi is Japanese stock, and it is a fundamental ingredient in many Japanese dishes.  Dashi is made from kombu (kelp), bonito flakes (dried and smoked skipjack tuna that is shaved into thin flakes), sardine (iriko or niboshi), or a combination of all or two of them.  Dashi provides great umami from all these ingredients and you don’t need to season the food much if you have good dashi.

How To Make Dashi | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

The dashi that I’m sharing today is the most common seafood-based stock called Awase Dashi: a combination of kombu and bonito flakes (katsuobushi).  The base is Kombu Dashi, and by adding smoked bonito flakes, the stock gets more enriched.

If you are a vegetarian, please check out Kombu Dashi and Shiitake Dashi recipes.

If you don’t have time and make a quick dashi using instant dashi powder or dashi packet, click here to see the instructions.

Although the preparation may be slightly different for each family and restaurant, the basic principle is pretty much the same.  I hope today’s post will help you become more familiar with Japanese culinary adventure.  Here’s a quick video I’ve prepared to show you how to make dashi.

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Dashi Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3½ cups
  • 0.7 oz (20 g or 4" x 5") kombu
  • 3 cups (30 g) packed katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) water (or 8 cups - see Note)
You will also need:
  • A sieve
  • Paper towel
    How To Make Dashi Ingredients
  1. Gently clean the kombu with a damp cloth without removing the white powdery "umami" substances. Do not wash the kombu!
    Kombu Dashi 1
  2. Make a couple of slits on the kombu.
    Kombu Dashi 2
  3. Put the kombu and water in a saucepan. If you have time, soak for 3 hours or up to half day. kombu’s flavor comes out naturally from soaking in water. If you don’t have time, skip this process.
    Dashi 3
  4. Slowly bring to a boil over medium low heat, skimming the surface occasionally.
    Dashi 4
  5. Just before boiling (you will see bubbles around the edges of the pan), remove the kombu and keep it for "Niban Dashi" (see Note). If you leave the kombu inside, the dashi will become slimy and bitter.
    Dashi 5
  6. Turn off the heat to let the dashi cool down a bit.
    Dashi 6
  7. Add the katsuobushi and bring it to a boil again, skimming occasionally.
  8. Once the dashi is boiling, reduce the heat, simmer for just 30 seconds, and turn off the heat.
    Dashi 8
  9. Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom, about 10 minutes.
    Dashi 9
  10. Strain the dashi through a sieve lined with a paper towel set over a bowl.
    Dashi 10
  11. Gently twist and squeeze the paper towel to release the extra dashi into the bowl. Keep katsuobushi for "Niban Dashi" (see Note).
    Dashi 11
  12. If you are not using the dashi right away, save it in a bottle and keep in the refrigerator for 3-7 days or in the freezer for 3 weeks.
    Dashi 12
  13. Save the drained katsuobushi and kombu to make homemade Furikake (rice seasoning).
    Mentsuyu 7
If you don't need strong dashi flavor, you can replace 4 cups of water with 8 cups.

"Niban Dashi": It means second dashi and it is light dashi using leftover kombu and bonito flakes from "Ichiban Dashi" you just made.

1. In a pot, put 4 cups of water and leftover kombu and bonito flakes used in Ichiban Dashi and bring it to a boil over high heat.

2. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes while skimming.

3. Add additional .18 oz (5 grams) of bonito flakes and turn off the heat.

4. Let the bonito flakes sink to the bottom and strain the dashi through the sieve.

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.


Posted in: How To, Most Popular Recipes, Sauces, Dressings & Condiments

Leave a Comment

2 + = ten

  • Nolwenn January 28, 2013, 2:12 pm

    I love dashi.
    How long can you keep it in the fridge ?

    • Nami January 28, 2013, 2:16 pm

      It’s 4-7 days but I’d recommend to use it in 3 days. :)

  • Kate January 28, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Yes! Thanks Nami. I can cook all things American, including even some Italian and a some French recipes, but Japanese is so intimidating for me. This is just perfect for a beginner like myself. Thanks for sharing!

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats January 28, 2013, 3:13 pm

    Nami, this is fantastic. I usually make really basic stocks, but nothing compared to this level of complexity. Thanks to Jap grocers here, and I am sure I will be able to find these ingredients. However, I have never used Dashi stock before. What soups would you recommend? I was thinking something along the lines of seafood? I LOVE Jap food but seriously can’t cook this cuisine :). Hope all is well!! ♥ ♥ Jo

  • CCU January 28, 2013, 3:49 pm

    Such a basic but delicious Japanese stock my friend, thank you :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  • A_Boleyn January 28, 2013, 3:54 pm

    I’ve read recipes for making dashi stock before but this is great … simple instructions and the pictures are crystal clear.

  • Nazneen | Coffee and Crumpets January 28, 2013, 3:59 pm

    You make it look so easy. I have no luck with Asian food…I blame my stove. I will have to get over my fear and try cooking some of these amazing foods you post. Love your photos.


  • Sandra's Easy Cooking January 28, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Fantastic post! I Love homemade dashi, so easy and give so much flavor!

  • PITS, MANILA January 28, 2013, 4:11 pm

    and all the while i thought ‘dashi’ came in powdered-form … something to sprinkle over scrambled eggs … ?

  • Ramona January 28, 2013, 4:12 pm

    I see dashi in a lot of recipes so I love that you showed us how to make it. It’s looks great. :) Looking forward to checking out the vegetarian version too. :)

  • albertocook January 28, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I like this

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen January 28, 2013, 4:35 pm

    I love the dashi we are served at Japanese restaurants & now glad you taught us how to make it at home. Love to hear you talk about ‘umami’, the special flavor! Did you know I have a friend in Manila who wrote a book on ‘umami’ in collaboration with a Japanese food company? What a terrific topic! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Nami!

  • Denise January 28, 2013, 4:42 pm

    Love this! I”ve used instant dashi but that does not seem like a good thing to do!!I don’t think I can get it in town right now anyway. I love making miso soup so this will be so nice!! I am quite interested in the veggie dashi too! Thanks once again, Nami!

  • yummychunklet January 28, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Looks easy to do!

  • Juliana January 28, 2013, 5:07 pm

    I love this broth…so tasty! Thanks for the recipe Nami…have a great week!

  • Belinda @zomppa January 28, 2013, 5:58 pm

    Awesome! I love these basics. Is it OK to use rice wine instead of rice wine vinegar for sushi rice?

    • Nami January 29, 2013, 12:23 am

      Thanks for checking How To Make Sushi Rice page, Belinda! Rice wine is not vinegar, so rice vinegar is absolutely necessary for making authentic sushi rice. Different kinds of vinegar won’t work for sushi. Hope this helps. :)

  • Liz January 28, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Wow, the color is just gorgeous! I never knew what dashi was made of until this post…thanks for sharing the basics, Nami!

  • Kristy January 28, 2013, 6:31 pm

    I remember when we cooked from Japan a while back that a lot of recipes called for dashi. I wish I would have known your site back then! Perhaps we’ll just have to redo some of the recipes and give this a try. I love your detailed how-to’s. They make things that would otherwise seem difficult, not so intimidating. :)

  • Lorely | Butter Love Affair January 28, 2013, 6:38 pm

    Wow!!! I have a lot of kombu at home (left over from our Sushi Sunday) and this would be a great thing to make using them. :) Now, all I have to find is a cheese cloth…I don’t know where to find that here in HK! :( Thanks for sharing Nami!! I always look forward to your shared recipes. :)

    • Nami January 29, 2013, 12:21 am

      Hi Lorely! You don’t need a cheese cloth if you have paper towel (which I always use). Thank you for your kind comment! xo :)

  • Muna Kenny January 28, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Thanks Nami, I love the taste of dashi in Japanese food, but never made it from scratch.

  • amelia from z tasty life January 28, 2013, 7:55 pm

    brilliant as always! I have always wanted to learn and this step by step is soooo convenient, Nami. Arigato’

  • Jen @ Savory Simple January 28, 2013, 8:00 pm

    What a useful tutorial! Thank you so much!

  • tigerfish January 28, 2013, 8:15 pm

    The reason I seldom cook Japanese food is because my pantry is lack of basic Japanese ingredients. Looks like I should start by making dashi – which means I need to stock up on kombu and bonito flakes soon.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 28, 2013, 10:09 pm

    Your stock looks so flavorful, Nami!

  • Reem | Simply Reem January 28, 2013, 10:18 pm

    Wonderful Tutorial Nami.
    This is going to be so helpful. I will try making dashi at home .. have bought ready made one till now.

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious January 28, 2013, 10:30 pm

    Love this! I had no idea dashi was so doable to make right at home!

  • TheKitchenLioness January 28, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Nami, you can never really stress the importance of mastering the basics enough! I am glad that the few ingredientsrequired for the preparation of Dashi are available at my Asian market and although I have made Dashi before, I will certainly make it again using your recipe – I am trying to work on my Japanese cooking skills and with your more than helpful recipes, I am sure that I will be able to hone my cooking skills. Love the color of that clean and “pure” stock and I particularly enjoyed the photography today.

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb January 29, 2013, 12:29 am

    It’s really that simple? I always thought it involved a complicated cooking method or some very exotic ingredients, but I am glad that its that easy. Thank you for sharing your step by step pictures, they are going to come very handy Nami!

  • Baby Sumo January 29, 2013, 1:50 am

    I just made dashi last week, it does make everything taste so much better esp soups.

  • Vicki Bensinger January 29, 2013, 3:00 am

    This is fascinating Nami. You’ve described how to make this so well and the uses for it. It’s always so much nicer to be able to make foods from scratch that get used often rather than purchasing them. Great detailed instructions, you make it all look quite simple. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mel January 29, 2013, 3:27 am

    Hi Nami
    I loves Japanese food but I am no good in cooking it but I can always come to you for tips and reference. And I am lucky too that I can browse thru your tutorial pics.

  • Adrian (What the Heck is Filipino Food) January 29, 2013, 3:37 am

    So great to see Japanese cuisine broken down like this. It really makes it easy for home cooks to give it a go. This one has been bookmarked for one weekend.

  • hui January 29, 2013, 3:38 am

    i’ve been meaning to make dashi for the dipping sauce for zaru soba.. but never gotten round to it ^^|| even with all the ingredients ready! gotta check if they are still usable. thanks for sharing this.. and a zaru soba recipe in 2011 too ^^

  • Hotly Spiced January 29, 2013, 3:45 am

    Thanks for supplying a recipe for dashi. I’ve hear of it but have never made it. xx

  • My Kitchen Stories January 29, 2013, 3:46 am

    Great recipe Nami , dashi is so versatile

  • Sissi January 29, 2013, 3:49 am

    Your dashi has an amazing colour! Mine is never so beautifully yellow! Anyway, I couldn’t live without home-made dashi. I have been making it for at least a year and when I recently tasted instant one, I couldn’t believe how different it was from mine.
    I also make niban dashi (but apart from the “old” I add some new katsuobushi to the second dashi too) and I keep both for about 4 days in the fridge. I think it starts getting sour after a week only, if I keep in the coldest part of the fridge…

    • Nami January 29, 2013, 10:15 am

      Sissi, this is for GOOD dashi. I normally double the water (8 cups) for my daily use, so it’s less yellow. Still very good though. :) Yeah instant one is okay if you need only a bit of dashi flavor, but I wouldn’t recommend for something that requires good dashi flavor like Miso Soup, Chawanmushi, Nimono…etc. :)

  • Stephanie January 29, 2013, 7:25 am

    I had no idea dashi was so simple. Thanks Nami!

  • Gourmantine January 29, 2013, 7:29 am

    Great post Nami and it looks so easy. I guess it would keep a good month in freezer, would it not?

    • Nami January 29, 2013, 8:39 am

      Yes, up to 3 weeks or so, but I always recommend to use it soon because it won’t be as good as when it’s made. :)

  • Mike19 January 29, 2013, 8:34 am

    Hi Nami,

    loving your cookbook! it really did become my “one cookbook” when it comes to Japanese. Now I have a question regarding dashi, maybe you can help clear this up:
    What is the difference between Aragatsuo, Katsuobushi, Karebushi, Kezuribushi, Kezurikatsuo and Hanakatsuo?

    I think Katsuobushi is the word for the complete wood-like dried Katsuo, not the shavings because these are karebushi? Or are they?


    • Nami January 29, 2013, 9:12 am

      Hi Mike! I’m happy to hear you enjoy my blog! And thanks for the question! You know very details about bonito flakes!

      First of all, I think “Aragatsuo” you mean is a different thing. Ara = head and gatsuo = katsuo, and there is a dish called “Katsuo no Ara ni (鰹のあら煮)”. It’s a simmered dish and not dried bonito flakes.

      “Katsuobushi 鰹節” refer to a whole block of dried and smoked meat or shaved one. But “Kezuribushi 削り節” only refers to shaved katuobushi (kezuri means “shaved”). People generally use the term katsuobushi or kezuribushi for bonito flakes.

      Katsuobushi has different names depends on how it’s processed.

      * Namaribushi 生利節 (boiled and dried only)
      * Arabushi 荒節 (smoked after boiled and dried)
      * Karebushi 枯節 (mature by deliberately planting fungus to reduce moisture), and
      * Honkarebushi 本枯節 (even more matured and most expensive kind).

      Hanakatsuo 花鰹 is katsuobushi (but precisely kezuribushi) that’s shaved like “hana” (flower). There are different names for how it’s shaved.

      Hope this helps. Maybe Google can answer your question better. :)

      By the way, the email got bounced back. I hope you see my response here.

      • Mike19 January 29, 2013, 9:28 am

        Many thanks!

        Let me see if I understand this correctly ;)

        Namaribushi, Arabushi, Karebushi and Honkarebushi are different production steps of Katsuobushi. For example if you have “arabushi” and then plant fungus into it, it becomes “karebushi”.

        Now when people use the term “kezuribushi”, does this refer to shaved flakes of Namaribushi, Arabushi, Karebushi or Honkarebushi? Are there other specific words for shavings of, say, Karebushi as opposed to Arabushi?

        When buying katsuobushi flakes, what kind of shaving would you recommend? Probably there are more thick/coarse cuts for making dashi, and probably when topping agedashidofu you would use hanakatsuo?

        ok… this is getting very, very specific :)


        • Nami January 29, 2013, 9:46 am

          Hi Mike,

          Yes, the first part is right.

          Glad you asked – I had to check.

          Katsuobushi Kezuribushi (鰹節削り節) is shaved Karebushi or Honkarebushi. Of course more expensive.

          Katsuo Kezuribushi (鰹削り節) is shaved Arabushi (no fungus). Less flavor but cheaper. It’s generally used for dashi at home (so that we can use a lot, I guess). This is the general “Katsuobushi” when you talk about bonito flakes. Hana Katsuo is categorized here.

          I like using big flakes (Hana Katsuo) for dashi instead of small flakes which I use for Agedashi tofu (but of course preference). For Okonomiyaki I like bigger flakes too.

          Hope this helps. Glad you got my email/response. :)

          • Mike19 January 29, 2013, 10:05 am

            Again, many thanks!

            By the way, I don’t know if you want to publish this (commercial and all) but you should check out http://www.fushitaka.com/ I can’t really understand it, it’s only Japanese, but they appear to have a spectacular variety of Katsuobushi.

            • Nami January 29, 2013, 10:11 am

              Thanks for the link! Yes they even have other fish’s kezuribushi besides katsuo. I sometimes wish that I could get these good ingredients here!

  • Food Jaunts January 29, 2013, 9:33 am

    Thanks for the updated how-to! I always use those packets (sheepish), can’t wait to see the vegetarian walkthrough!

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) January 29, 2013, 9:34 am

    I love your traditional Japanese recipes, it is fascinating to learn about another culture’s traditional foods! This is great. I doubt I’ll have the stuff on hand to make it, but it’s good to know!

  • Akemi January 29, 2013, 9:49 am


  • Candice January 29, 2013, 10:06 am

    Hi Nami,

    For the kombu, if I don’t have time to soak it for 3 hours – half day, do I just skip this proceess and just boil the kombu?


    • Nami January 29, 2013, 10:09 am

      Hi Candice! Yes you can – but even 30 minutes would help! Make sure to take out kombu BEFORE boiling. :)

  • Rosa January 29, 2013, 10:14 am

    A great recipe! A healthy stock.



  • Jenny January 29, 2013, 10:17 am

    really interesting, Nami. A good stock always makes the dish.

  • Vij (Spices And Aroma) January 29, 2013, 12:13 pm

    That looks so good. I must give it a try and I can use the stock just like the way we use chicken stock?

    • Nami January 30, 2013, 9:17 pm

      Hi Vij! Yes, we can replace chicken stock with dashi for a lot of dishes (not all) :) Maybe the easiest way to guess is that if you use soy sauce or other Asian seasonings, you can definitely use dashi. However, it’s not meant for western food – I think flavor is a bit strange. Hope this helps. :)

  • The Squishy Monster January 29, 2013, 1:03 pm

    I always have miso so this is perfect! Love this =)

  • Dara January 29, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Wow. I learn something new everytime I visit your site. This is so fascinating. Can this be frozen for future use?

    • Nami January 30, 2013, 9:28 pm

      Yes, it lasts in the freezer for 3 weeks. It’s better to use sooner as the flavor won’t be as good as when you make it. :)

  • Raymund January 29, 2013, 1:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing this key Japanese ingredient, I use them a lot but I buy the instant ones.

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz January 29, 2013, 1:45 pm

    This is really awesome Nami. I never got around to buying some but would rather make it. And I have bonito flakes at home…treat for the cats lol.

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade January 29, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Great, thanks Nami! I’ve seen many recipes that use dashi but I had no idea where to buy it, but now I can make it :D

  • MaryMoh January 29, 2013, 2:46 pm

    Your dashi looks so good. I would drink a big bowl :D

  • Kitchen Belleicious January 29, 2013, 6:45 pm

    wow! What a recipe, what a dish, what a great step by step! You continue to amaze me

  • Balvinder January 29, 2013, 7:09 pm

    I need to make this for miso soup. I would really be interested in the vegetarian dashi.

  • ashley - baker by naturea January 29, 2013, 8:17 pm

    This is something I see me making right away! I love how many useful, everyday recipes I find here that I would never had made otherwise!

  • Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) January 30, 2013, 7:32 am

    This is really cool! I always thought dashi was shellfish based so I am really happy to learn it is not. Love your how tos!

  • Natalie January 30, 2013, 7:54 am

    Wow, this looks quite amazing! Thanks for the step-by-step pictures, very helpful.

    • Nami January 30, 2013, 9:47 pm

      Thank you Natalie! I’m glad you enjoy this post! :)

  • PolaM January 30, 2013, 9:07 am

    Love this recipe! And it seems so easy! I should try it! I bet it would be a good base for things like risotto too!

  • Rhonda January 30, 2013, 9:36 am

    I often see this in recipes and did not know exactly what it was, thanks for this!

  • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) January 30, 2013, 11:49 am

    Oo, thank you for your tip about how to make Niban dashi! I always like that feeling when I can use excess ingredients for one more thing, without letting anything go to waste.

  • Sandra January 30, 2013, 12:36 pm

    I love that you give us so many step by step pictures Nami. It is very helpful, thank you.

  • john@kitchenriffs January 30, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Great post! I have made dashi, but I confess it’s not something I make often. I should change that – it’s easy to do, and has such great flavor. Looking forward to your vegetarian dashi! Really good stuff – thanks.

  • wok with ray January 30, 2013, 1:53 pm

    Visiting your blog is always, always a good thing. Not only I am getting all the delicious recipes that you have, I am also getting free education on Japanese cuisines. Thank you, Nami. I always appreciate these informative posts from you. :)

  • Pudding Pie Lane January 30, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Hi Nami! I actually just last week bought dashi from a Japanese supermarket, but I guess I must have bought the pre-made stuff since it’s just called ‘dashi stock’? Anyway, just thought I should let you know that I love the flavour! I was wondering what I could add it to, I know people say its used in udon soup but is there anything else? And do I need to also get mirin?

    Thanks! :)

  • Lori Lynn January 30, 2013, 3:17 pm

    Hi Nami – a very helpful post. And I am definitely interested in how you make the vegetarian version.

  • Lokness @ The Missing Lokness January 30, 2013, 3:40 pm

    Wow! This sounds a lot easier than I thought. I feel so guilty of using the powder thing. I need to make my own now. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet January 30, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Ohhh yum :) I had no idea that this was how you made dashi :) I have always just used the powder and even though I know it’s not as tasty, it is very easy hehe

    I just hope I will be able to find the ingredients and try at home~

  • mjskit January 30, 2013, 7:36 pm

    I’ve seen so many of your recipes that call for dashi but since it’s not something I use a lot, I really didn’t know what it was except for a type of stock. So I thank you for this recipe and tutorial on how to make it! It’s just what I needed! I make all kinds of stock so why not dashi? YAY! It’s going to be harder to get the ingredients than to make this. :) Actually, just a trip to the Asian market.

  • Katerina January 31, 2013, 3:49 am

    I have never tried Dashi but you give perfect instructions on how to make it at home Nami!

  • amy @ uTryIt January 31, 2013, 9:30 am

    This is so helpful. I’ve been using store bough Dashi as I don’t really use them that often. But it’s so easy to make. I really have no excuse to buy them again! hahaaha….Thanks for the recipe, Nami. :)

  • Hannah January 31, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Nami! I love “back to basics” recipes and I’ve always wanted to make dashi since it is in quite a few recipes I’d like to try. Your photos and directions are always so helpful!

  • Lynna January 31, 2013, 11:46 pm

    I actually bought those instant dashi packets to try some Japanese cooking! Making it homemade like this looks so cool. :)

  • Blackswan February 2, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Awesome tutorial! I usually make mine using bonito flakes. This is a nice alternative!

  • Ginny February 2, 2013, 11:09 pm

    Hi, is the dashi stock suitable for making porridge for baby (10 months)?

    • Nami February 3, 2013, 10:35 pm

      Hi Ginny! Yes, in Japan dashi is introduced to baby as early as 8 months old. Start from diluted version to make sure your baby has no allergy and flavor is not too strong. You can use kombu dashi (vegetarian), too. :)

  • Yelena February 3, 2013, 4:02 pm

    Winter is a perfect time for stocks. Some people make it from mushrooms, some from chicken, of course. To me your stock is very exotic, I would love to try it. Very bright color, and I love it-)

  • Diana February 5, 2013, 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I usually cheat by using in the bottle dashi concentrate, my bf turned me on to it. This will be nice when I want to do more formal meals.

    • Nami February 11, 2013, 10:20 pm

      Thank you Diana! I usually use dashi packet (like a tea bag) for my daily use which is really quick and easy. But when I need a lot of dashi for 1-2 dishes, I always make it from scratch. Thank you for your feedback! :)

  • Jean | Lemons &Anchovies February 5, 2013, 7:44 pm

    It’s awesome that you shared this recipe, Nami. I used Dashi powder but I always have bonito flakes in the pantry. I had no idea it was this easy. Thank you!

  • ChopinandMysaucepan February 6, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Dear Nami,

    Mysaucepan loves her cold soba noodles in summer and she buys the ready made dashi. This recipe looks simple enough to make though.

  • Jan July 27, 2013, 3:15 am

    Hi, I recently visited Nagano Prefecture and dinned at a small soba restaurant where I had cold soba with a black sesame soup. The soup must have been made from either white or black sesame paste as it had a cloudy look to it and a slight tahini taste. I can’t remember if the paste was at the bottom of the bowl and I added the dashi/soy liquid from the little pouring bottle, or if it was all in together from the beginning. Out of all the soba meals I enjoyed this was the best! Do you know how to make this dish, and would you be willing to share it? Jan

  • Beth August 7, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I bought aokizami kombu to make dashi. The store was out of the plain kombu. Do I still use 20 grams? Is there anything I should know about using that type of kombu? Is it stronger since it is shredded?

    • Nami August 7, 2013, 10:43 pm

      Hi Beth! I’ve never used kizami kombu to make dashi before but it’s supposedly just shredded version of kombu. We usually use kizami kombu for simmered dishes as ingredients, just never heard someone tried it for making dashi. Is it more expensive? 20g is a lot to make dashi? It seems like shredded one will give more flavor because it’s cut surface… maybe try with 10-15g? What do you think? Sorry I can’t be much of help here..

  • The Saffron Girl August 21, 2013, 1:41 am

    Oh! So, this is like a fish broth/sauce then? Love it! I have to figure out how to get the bonito flakes, or can something else be used instead? salted cod, for example?

    • Nami August 21, 2013, 12:13 pm

      Hi Debra! If you have Japanese supermarket, you will definitely find dried bonito flakes for sure. It looks like this:


      These bonito flakes are dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna and I don’t think any other fish works. The fermented part gives nice deep flavor which is very important for this stock.

      However, you can substitute it with dried anchovies. We make stock out of dried anchovies too. Or just kombu alone (vegetarian dashi: http://justonecookbook.com/recipes/how-to-make-kombu-dashi-vegetarian-dashi/).

      I don’t know which one are easier to find, but when you can find kombu, I assume you can find other ingredients as they are essential for cooking Japanese food. Hope that helps. :)

      • The Saffron Girl August 22, 2013, 1:07 am

        Thank you Nami. I’m going to look for it here. We have a huge Asian market, which may carry it. I would love to make my own concentrated fish stock. ;) Saving the recipe of course!

  • Wendy October 7, 2013, 11:27 am

    Hi! This recipe looks great.

    I was wondering — if I soak it for 3 hours, does this mean when I boil it I don’t keep the kombu in the pot? So after 3 hours, I just take it out and then add the flakes?

    Sorry I am not good at this!

    • Nami October 7, 2013, 11:38 am

      Hi Wendy! Thank you for asking. :) You soak for 3 hrs, and keep the kombu inside the water. Then when the water is about to boil, take out the kombu. Please feel free to ask me if you have any question. :)

      • Wendy October 7, 2013, 11:44 am

        Oh! :D That’s great. Thank you for such a quick reply. I’ll try this tonight.

  • Ra ru fu October 19, 2013, 12:03 am

    Nomikosan. When you used the word UMAMI. What does that word mean?

    Dashi provides great umami from all these ingredients and you don’t need to season the food much if you have good dashi.

    • Nami October 21, 2013, 9:31 pm

      Hi Rarufu!

      Besides the familiar tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour, there is a fifth taste we can perceive with our tongue, and that we call “umami”. Like fatty meats like steak, aged cheese, really complex broth from fresh ingredients… those are the “umami”.

      You can read a little bit more about it on wiki for details.


      • YLK November 1, 2013, 11:18 am

        On the “How to Make Dashi Stock” page, it says that Iriko Dashi recipe is coming soon. I’m really interested and looking forward to that recipe using dried baby sardines. There is no comment section on that page so I comment here.

        • Nami November 4, 2013, 10:37 pm

          Hi YLK! Thank you for your request. I’ve been meaning to make the post, but haven’t had a chance yet. I’ll mark as higher priority in my lists of recipes to try. Thanks! :)

  • Kelley Niiyama January 2, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Hi, Nami! I am starting my life as a Japanese housewife (after 11 years of marriage!) and am finding your website unbelievably helpful for my kitchen endeavors!! You have already helped me impress my in-laws (visiting from Japan) with your recipe for namasu (many, many thanks!).

    I have a question about the Niban dashi and furikake – do I have to choose between the two, or can I make the Niban dashi then make the furikake (from the same ingredients)?

    • Nami January 2, 2014, 10:33 pm

      Hi Kelley! Happy New Year! I’m so happy to hear you made namasu and your in-laws enjoyed it. :)

      You can make furikake after nibandashi. You add seasonings to kombu and katsuobushi, so you can use kombu and katsuobushi after making nibandashi to make furikake. Hope that helps!

  • silkie January 12, 2014, 8:03 am

    Hello, When you said skim it occasionally, what are you skimming for? Fat? Bubbles? Bonito flakes?

    • Nami January 12, 2014, 11:07 am

      Hi Sillkie! Small bubbles and some particles floating on the surface (if there is any). Most of it it should be pretty clean, and a tiny bit of bubbles. :)

  • Dalila January 15, 2014, 12:31 am

    Hi Nami,

    Do you have a recipe for the iriko dashi? I’m interested in learning that one to make kitsune udon. I enjoyed this dashi very much! I really prefer making things from scratch :)
    Thank you,

    • Dalila January 15, 2014, 12:36 am

      Oops! Never mind, I just read one of the posts above.

      • Nami January 15, 2014, 12:41 pm

        Hi Dalia! I’ve been meaning to make Iriko Dashi recipe for a while but haven’t had a chance yet. I’ll try to write a post in the near future…. :)

  • Dee R. February 28, 2014, 9:24 am

    Is it possible to make dashi using a bonito powder? I have this korean stock powder that has bonito and anchovy. Will it work?

  • John Yam March 3, 2014, 12:46 am

    Hi! Where can you buy these ingredients in Manila?

    • Nami March 3, 2014, 10:17 pm

      Hi John! I’m not familiar with Japanese grocery stores in Manila, but if you can find one (maybe in the city where many Japanese expats live), you should be able to find all the ingredients for making dashi as it’s the basic items for Japanese cooking. Korean uses kombu (kelp) and anchovies for making stock as well, so you can easily find in Korean supermarkets. Hope this helps. :)

  • Stephen July 18, 2014, 11:57 am

    Is $9 expensive for 100 grams of hanakatsuo? I got the ninben brand of hanaktasuo kezuribushi from my local Korean supermarket. If that’s a reasonable price in the US, this is much more expensive than the tennen dashi sachets/teabags, which are $4 for 8 sachets. The homemade dashi would be >$3 for 3.5 cups, whereas the sachets are $.50 for 3.5 cups, meaning homemade is 6-7 times as expensive…

    • Nami July 18, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Hi Stephen! I forgot how much hanakatsuo cost in the Japanese supermarket I go to… I need to check, but I don’t think it cost that much. I usually use dashi packet for my regular day-to-day dishes for convenience, but in your case yes, yeah it’s more expensive to make homemade dashi!

      A lot of people can’t find the dashi packet that we use (I really hope this will become more popular than dashi powder with MSG) and they have no choice but making dashi from scratch. I still think my homemade dashi tastes much better than those dashi packet. :)

  • Vrenn August 15, 2014, 3:56 pm

    The dish I’m currently making is Udon, and the bowls that i need to fill are about two cups each. How much of the ingredients would I have to us to make enough Dashi for a group of six people? Would I just double the amount that you currently have listed at the top?

    • Nami August 18, 2014, 10:45 pm

      Hi Vrenn! This dashi recipe yields 3 1/2 cups.

      You’ll need 12 cups of dashi, so you need to make 3 to 4 times. If you make a basic Udon noodle soup base such as this recipe (http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/kitsune-udon/), there are other condiments like soy sauce and mirin added to dashi to make udon soup. So I think you just need to make 3 times more than this recipe.

      But if you are going to use “8 cups” just like I mentioned in Note section, then yeah double the recipe, and you should be good!

      Hope this helps!

  • matt November 9, 2014, 10:05 am

    Great job! Is there any way to create an instant dashi powder from these raw ingredients? Like maybe grind the 2 ingredients and then add them to water later? Any ideas? Thanks

    • Nami November 11, 2014, 12:18 am

      Hi Matt! Thank you so much. Hmmm even though you grind the raw ingredients, I think the powders/granules won’t be completely dissolved. So you will have to strain it. In that case, it makes more sense to make a tea bag dashi packet. That way after you boiled the dashi packet, you can pick it up and throw away. In Japanese supermarkets, there are meshed tea bag (disposable). A lot of people make their own dashi packet using those tea bag. Hope this helps. :)

  • Jenna November 19, 2014, 11:51 pm

    Ok so um i dont have the kombu sheets but the soup stock is that a good substitute or no?

    • Nami November 21, 2014, 5:08 am

      Hi Jenna! If you don’t have kombu, you can still make Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) based dashi. There is no substitute for kombu, so you will be just making “Katsuo Dashi” with just bonito flakes. Follow the same directions (minus kombu part). :)

  • Mikko Hidalgo December 1, 2014, 8:00 am

    Hi! Can I use iriko dashi in making takoyaki?

    • Nami December 1, 2014, 9:20 am

      Hi Mikko! Yes you can! I hope you enjoy making takoyaki. :)

  • Carolyn Orbach December 12, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Forgive me if you’ve already answered this! I skimmed the comments but did not see where anyone has inquired of you the name of a legitimate online supplier of the ingredients Kombu and Bonito Flakes. I live 57 country miles outside the great & sophisticated city of Cleveland, where there exists “real” Japanese grocers which I’d love to visit. I can go to Cleveland. In about four weeks! I need Miso soup now!!! Please help me, Nami! If anyone reading this knows of such a site, please let me know. Respectfully….

  • Tenzo January 24, 2015, 2:40 am

    Can I make dashing with dried shrimps?

    • Nami January 26, 2015, 12:41 pm

      We do make dashi with dried shrimp but we use it for certain dishes that goes well with strong shrimp flavor. Not meant for all dishes that require dashi. :)

  • Tiffany February 1, 2015, 9:02 am

    I have a question. I’ve been wanting to make dashi from scratch for a long time. I just got back from the Asian market and I just noticed that the bonito flakes that I bought say “smoked and dried”. Is that the same thing or did I buy the wrong package? Sorry, I know it’s a stupid question but I’m very new to Asian cooking, i don’t really know what I’m doing yet.

  • Def March 10, 2015, 8:01 pm

    can we use the konbu leftover for ramen topping?

    • Nami March 11, 2015, 2:30 pm

      Hi Def! Without cooking in seasonings, kombu can be very plain and not much taste to it. How do you want to serve the leftover kombu in ramen?

  • Ben Goren April 6, 2015, 4:53 pm


    Thank you for this recipe!

    It might seem a bit strange…but I’m actually making dashi for my cat. I feed him commercial frozen raw food (from Nature’s Variety; ground rabbit or duck or chicken, complete with organs and bones plus a small bit of other stuff), and I serve it (thawed, of course) with twice as much liquid as food to make sure he stays very well hydrated. I had been using warm tap water plus a small spoonful of Trader Joe’s “Tuna for Cats” canned food…but then I discovered that he goes absolutely nuts for katsuobushi and so I’m using your dashi instead — which he also loves. He licks the bowl clean and dry!

    I have a question, though…for niban dashi, should the kombu be removed once it reaches a boil just as for ichiban dashi, or do you leave the kombu in for the whole ten minutes of simmering?



    • Nami April 6, 2015, 5:10 pm

      Hi Ben! Definitely one of interesting comments I have received! :) Your cat is very lucky and it seems like he eats very well! Just like Ichiban Dashi, I recommend taking kombu out before boiling. Kombu makes the broth bitter and slimy and it’s not neccesary. However, you can leave it out in water for a longer time, or cook the water with kombu slowly to get maximum flavor. There are lots of stories in Japan that cats go crazy with katsuobushi. It made me smile to hear your story.

      • Ben Goren April 16, 2015, 4:40 pm

        Thanks for the clarification! I just made another batch this afternoon, and he licked his lunch bowl clean again so I still must be doing something right. And the last batch made some really, really good miso soup for me….

        I can easily believe the stories of Japanese cats that go crazy for katsuobushi. Baihu’s reaction to it is almost embarrassing in how desperately excited he gets in just the time it takes to get it out of the bag to when he can reach it in my hands. I imagine there must be quite a few very lucky cats in Japan, what with all the katsuobushi, dashi, and fresh seafood there. I’m sure not all cats eat as well as their humans…but those who do must think they’re in heaven.


        • Nami April 20, 2015, 4:26 pm

          Hi Ben! Does your cat like the leftover katsuobushi from making dashi? Or all the flavor is out and he doesn’t like it? I didn’t think too much about it, but yeah cats in Japan must be so happy eating all kinds of seafood meals. :)

          • Ben Goren May 1, 2015, 5:55 pm

            Alas, he doesn’t. Nor does he like katsuobushi sprinkled on top of a bowl of food and liquid…I suspect the texture is a big part of the draw and the mushiness of soggy katsuobushi doesn’t seem to appeal to him.

            But the flavor of the dashi definitely does…if I give him just plain water with his food, he only eats the food and leaves whatever water he isn’t forced to get by eating the food. And he might get fussy and wait a while before deigning to eat. But with dashi? No more than a minute or three after I set the bowl down and it’s licked clean!

            …time to make another batch….


            • Nami May 2, 2015, 12:57 am

              Thank you for your answer, Ben! I guess the texture of the food is very important even for a cat. :) I’m so happy to hear your cat enjoy dashi! It’s really a cute story. :D Thank you!!