Using dashi powder is the easiest and quickest way to make Japanese soup stock or add flavor to a dish. Sprinkle the dashi powder over the food while cooking, or stir the contents into water for instant dashi broth.
Dashi Powder (粉末だし) is Japanese soup stock in granules. It’s the easiest and quickest way to make dashi soup stock, as you can sprinkle the powder into soup and dishes while cooking. Prepping is not required, and it’s instant! It’s full of umami flavor and will add a depth of flavor to your dish.
Use instant dashi powder for noodle soups like soba and ramen, as a base for hot pot dishes, or to add a savory flavor in cooking.
Which Dashi Powder To Use?
MSG-free and additive-free dashi powders are available at Japanese grocery stores or on Amazon (kombu + bonito or kombu (vegan)). However, they come in Japanese packages (imported), and you probably can’t find these in Asian grocery stores.
Look for the Japanese words:
- 無添加 = “additive-free”
- 化学調味料は使用しておりません = “MSG-free”
Also, depending on the brands, the ingredients include dried bonito powder AKA katsuobushi, oyster extract, tuna extract, kelp extract, and other natural flavorings.
What Is Hondashi
Hondashi (ほんだし) is a product name by Ajinomoto, and it’s widely available in Asian grocery stores and some American supermarkets. Although you can buy this dashi powder package easily, it contains MSG.
Be Careful When Using Dashi Powder
Note that dashi made with dashi powder contains salt, unlike homemade dashi. I typically avoid dashi powder in my recipes unless specified. Adjust salt, soy sauce, or miso accordingly if you’re mindful of your salt intake.
Have You Heard Of Dashi Packets?
I thought it’s worth mentioning here that there is another quick method to make dashi. It’s called Dashi Packet, and all you need to do is to throw the packet in water and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes. It’s dashi in tea bag form.
You only need to add 2-3 minutes of cooking time compared to the dashi powder method, but the flavor is much cleaner than dashi powder. Read more about Dashi Packet and How to Use It.
Recipes Using Dashi
Japanese cuisine uses dashi to boost the umami content. Here are some examples of classic Japanese dishes with dashi:
- Miso Soup
- Beef Udon
- Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)
- Tamagoyaki (Rolled Omelette)
- Shrimp Tempura
The Ultimate Dashi Guide
Dashi plays a vital flavor enhancer in Japanese cooking, so you don’t need to season the food with salt, fat, and sugar. Dashi is a healthy ingredient in our daily diet, rich in minerals and other vitamins. That’s the secret to the Japanese population’s longevity!
Japanese cuisine uses six types of dashi, including vegetarian and vegan options (*).
- Awase Dashi – a stock made from a combination of dried kelp + bonito flakes
- Kombu Dashi * – a stock made from dried kelp
- Katsuo Dashi – a stock made from dried bonito flakes
- Iriko Dashi – a stock made from dried anchovies/sardines
- Shiitake Dashi * – a stock made from dried shiitake mushrooms
- Vegan Dashi * – a stock made from dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu
If you are new to different types of dashi, check out my Ultimate Dashi Guide.
How to Make Japanese Soup Stock with Dashi Powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp dashi powder
- In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 tsp dashi powder.
- Stir well and turn off the heat and the dashi is ready to use. Use it immediately. Tip: Note that dashi made with dashi powder contains salt, unlike homemade dashi. I typically avoid dashi powder in my recipes unless specified. Adjust salt, soy sauce, or miso accordingly if you're mindful of your salt intake.
- I don‘t recommend storing dashi in the refrigerator or freezer.