Using dashi powder is the easiest and quickest way to make Japanese soup stock or add dashi flavor to a dish. Simply sprinkle the dashi powder over the food while cooking or add it to water to make instant dashi soup stock.
Dashi Powder (粉末だし) is the easiest and quickest way to make dashi soup stock as you can sprinkle the powder into soup and dishes while you’re cooking. Prepping is not required and it’s instant!
Which Dashi Powder to Use?
There are MSG-free and additive-free dashi powder available at the 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 for these dashi powder contain dried bonito powder, oyster extract, tuna extract, kelp extract and so on.
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.
Have You Heard of Dashi Packet?
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 in a dashi packet in water and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
You would only need to add 2-3 minutes compared to dashi powder method, but the flavor of dashi is much better than one you make with dashi powder. Read more about Dashi Packet and How to Use It here.
Recipes Using Dashi
Majority of Japanese recipes require dashi to add authentic umami-rich flavors and here are some examples:
The Ultimate Dashi Guide on Just One Cookbook
Dashi plays an important role as a flavor enhancer in Japanese cooking, so you don’t need to season the food with too much salt, fat, and sugar. Rich in minerals and other vitamins, dashi is considered a healthy ingredient in our daily diet.
There are five different types of dashi you can use in Japanese cooking, including vegetarian and vegan dashi (*).
- Kombu Dashi → made from kombu (dried kelp)*
- Katsuo Dashi → made from katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- Iriko Dashi → made from iriko or niboshi (dried anchovies/sardines)
- Shiitake Dashi → made from dried shiitake mushrooms*
- Awase Dashi → made from a combination of all above or two (e.g., kombu + katsuobushi)
If you are new to different types of dashi, check out my Ultimate Dashi Guide post.
How to Make Japanese Soup Stock with Dashi Powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp dashi powder
- In a medium saucepan, add the water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the dashi powder.
- Stir well and turn off the heat. The dashi is ready to use. Use it immediately. I don't recommend storing dashi in the refrigerator or freezer.