Learn how to make Japanese dashi soup stock at home with 3 simple methods today!
Dashi (だし) is the basic stock used for Japanese cooking. My best guess is if you are not familiar with Japanese ingredients when you see “dashi” in my ingredient lists and you might have thought to yourself, what’s dashi… can I skip it?
Frankly speaking, if you try making Japanese food without dashi, it will not taste authentic. You cannot replace dashi with chicken or vegetable stock. If you skip it, the resulting dish will not reflect it’s true taste.
We make dashi almost every day and use it in many dishes. I usually make a big pot of dashi and use some portions of it for my main or side dishes. The leftover dashi in the pot becomes the base for miso soup. Japanese dishes are always served with a bowl of miso soup, so no dashi will end up going to waste.
Types of Dashi
Before I start explaining the 3 methods to make dashi, please know that the Japanese have different types of dashi.
There are 4 types of dashi: Awase Dashi (most basic), Kombu Dashi (Vegetarian/Vegan), Iriko Dashi, and Shiitake Dashi. To learn about each dashi, please read more on this post.
How To Make Dashi 3 Ways
Today we’ll be making the most basic dashi, Awase Dashi, 3 ways. However, you can use the same approaches to make different types of dashi I’ve shared previously.
The three methods include a dashi packet, which I use the most often in my daily cooking, dashi powder, if you’re in hurry, and lastly homemade dashi, the most delicious dashi you can make at home.
Method 1: Use Dashi Packet to Make Dashi
Dashi packet is a little pouch that contains premixed ingredients to make dashi. It’s convenient because you don’t have to prepare each ingredient yourself – everything in a tea-bag-like packet and all you need to do is to drop it in the water and boil. You don’t need to drain over a strainer and instead just pick up the packet and throw it away after it releases all the flavors into the stock.
This is a quick method, just like dashi powder, yet the taste is closer to homemade dashi because of the real ingredients in the dashi packet.
Method 2: Use Dashi Powder
If you occasionally cook Japanese food and need dashi for Japanese cooking, many of you probably start with the powder method.
It makes sense because dashi powder is relatively easily accessible in Asian grocery stores (and even in American supermarket) and available in many countries (Amazon also sells it). All you need is to sprinkle the dashi powder in the boiling water, and dashi is made!
If you don’t cook Japanese food often, this is a great solution because you just need a box of dashi powder handy and don’t need to buy the several ingredients required for making dashi.
Method 3: Make Homemade Dashi
Just like any other food, nothing beats a delicious homemade dish made from scratch. The same thing goes to homemade dashi. Compared to chicken/beef/vegetable broth, Japanese dashi is much easier and quicker to make. The methods are simple and you only need a few ingredients. If you’re new to dashi, it might sound very intimidating, but you can watch the video to see how easy it is to make them.
Six Great Recipes You Can Make With Dashi
3 Ways To Make Dashi (with Video)
For a Dashi Packet
- 2–3 cups water (use 2 cups for rich dashi and 3 cups for regular use)
- 1 dashi packet (9 g)
For Dashi Powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp dashi powder (3 g)
- Please check out the tutorial video to watch me make Dashi using three different methods! You can also go to my blog posts below for specific recipes with instructions and photos:
To Use a Dashi Packet
- Please see my step-by-step instructions and photos at my blog post How to Make Japanese Soup Stock with a Dashi Packet.
To Use Dashi Powder
- Please see my step-by-step instructions with photos at my blog post How to Use Dashi Powder to make Japanese soup stock.
For Homemade Dashi
- To make basic, all-purpose Awase Dashi (kombu bonito stock) from scratch, please see my step-by-step instructions with photos at my ultimate guide How to Make Dashi. Other variations include Katsuo Dashi (bonito stock) and Iriko Dashi (anchovy stock). For vegan/vegetarian stock, try my recipes Shiitake Dashi, and Kombu Dashi, or Vegan Dashi (shiitake kombu stock).