How To Make Dashi だしの作り方

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  • Dashi is the basic Japanese soup stock used in many Japanese dishes. Learn how to make Awase Dashi at home with umami-packed ingredients like kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes).

    Awase Dashi in a measuring cup, and kombu and katsuobushi on a bamboo basket.

    When you decide to make Japanese food, you will realize that a lot of recipes require dashi, Japanese soup stock.

    With this unfamiliar ingredient, you may think Japanese food is hard to replicate at home. On the contrary, dashi is actually the easiest soup stock anyone can make from scratch as it requires only 1-2 ingredients and 20-minute prep time. This post shows you how you can make Awase Dashi using a combination of ingredients. Once you learn the ins and outs of dashi making, you’ll be ready to tackle Japanese cooking with a breeze.

    What is Dashi?

    Dashi (だし, 出汁) is Japanese soup stock that builds the bases for many of your favorite Japanese dishes like miso soup, chawanmushi, ramen, and shabu shabu. It is the essence of authentic Japanese flavor, and it tells the dishes apart if other substitutions are being used in place of the soup stock. And what defines dashi is the use of carefully selected ingredients like kombu, bonito flakes, shiitake mushrooms, and anchovies, and each ingredient is uniquely Japanese.

    In general, there are five different types of dashi (two are vegan). Scroll down to see 5 different types or check out my Ultimate Dashi Guide post. When we say “Dashi” in Japan, it usually implies Awase Dashi because it’s the most commonly used stock.

    Awase Dashi (合わせだし) is made from a combination of kombu (dried kelp) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), and it’s the seafood-based stock. *Awase (合わせ) means “to combine”, “mixed”, or “together”.

    Awase Dashi in a measuring cup, and kombu and katsuobushi on a bamboo basket.

    How to Make All-Purpose, Basic Dashi

    The First Dashi

    The base of Awase Dashi is a vegan Kombu Dashi made from dried kelp. You can cold brew or hot brew kombu to make the dashi. Then you would add dried bonito flakes to the kombu dashi. This makes the stock more enriched. When you make dashi from unused kombu and katsuobushi, it’s called Ichiban Dashi (一番だし). It’s basically the first pure dashi.

    The Second Dashi

    Niban Dashi (二番だし), or the second dashi is made from previously used kombu and katsuobushi, which you reserved from making Ichiban Dashi. Niban Dashi is a lighter, less intense dashi, yet still provides a great umami flavor despite the ingredients have previously been used.

    Homemade Japanese rice seasoning, Furikake, in a Japanese blue and white ceramic bowl.

    Do we really need to make dashi twice?

    At a regular household, we make such a small amount of dashi that it’s not very efficient to make both Ichiban Dashi and Niban Dashi. My suggestion is to make very good Ichiban Dashi and utilize the used kombu and katsuobushi to make Homemade Furikake (rice seasoning) and Kombu Tsukudani (simmered kombu) after collecting enough used kombu and katsuobushi. This way, there will be no waste, and you get another side dish to accompany your meal.

    So then who makes Niban Dashi? Japanese restaurants make a huge batch of dashi daily. They use Ichiban Dashi for dishes like Clear Soups (Osumashi おすまし) and Chawanmushi, which require the pure and maximum amount of umami from the dashi ingredients. They typically use Niban dashi for simmered food (Nimono) and miso soup, which doesn’t require much flavor from the soup stock.


    Watch How to Make (Awase) Dashi

    Dashi is the basic Japanese soup stock used in many Japanese dishes. Learn how to make Awase Dashi at home with umami-packed ingredients, kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes).


    Dashi Shortcut

    Sometimes life happens and you just don’t have 20 minutes to make dashi from scratch. On those occasions, you can use Dashi Packet or Dashi Powder.

    Dashi Shortcut | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    I love using Kayanoya Dashi Packet (left) and Shimaya Dashi Powder (right). Both are MSG-free and additive-free. You can purchase them at Japanese grocery stores or on Amazon:

    The instruction on how to use them (recipes) can be found in the Dashi Packet post and Dashi Powder post.


    Easy & Delicious Recipes Using Dashi:


    5 different types of dashi in a jar and their ingredients.

    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 (*).

    1. Kombu Dashi → made from kombu (dried kelp)*
    2. Katsuo Dashi → made from katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
    3. Iriko Dashi → made from iriko or niboshi (dried anchovies/sardines)
    4. Shiitake Dashi → made from dried shiitake mushrooms*
    5. 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.line 1024x29

    Sign up for the free Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookPinterestYouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    4.49 from 41 votes
    Awase Dashi in a measuring cup, and kombu and katsuobushi on a bamboo basket.
    Awase Dashi (Japanese Soup Stock)
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    20 mins
     

    Dashi is the basic Japanese soup stock used in many Japanese dishes. Learn how to make Awase Dashi at home with umami-packed ingredients like kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes).

    Course: Condiments, How to
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: dashi, katsuobushi, kombu, stock
    Servings: 800 ml (3 ⅓ cups)
    Ingredients
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients. Most Japanese recipes would say to gently clean the kombu with a damp cloth. However, these days, kombu is pretty clean so just make sure it doesn't look musty. DO NOT wash or wipe off the white powdery substance (Mannitol), which contributes to the umami flavor in dashi.

      Awase Dashi Ingredients
    2. Make a couple of slits on the kombu, which will help release more flavor.

      Awase Dashi 1
    Optional Step: Make Cold Brew Kombu Dashi Ahead of Time
    1. Put water and kombu in a large bottle and let it steep on the counter for 2-3 hours in the summertime and 4-5 hours in the winter time. You can also cold brew kombu dashi overnight in the refrigerator.

      Awase Dashi 2
    To Make Awase Dashi
    1. In a medium pot, put the kombu and water. If you have cold brew Kombu Dashi (previous step), add Kombu Dashi and hydrated kombu in the pot.

      Awase Dashi 3
    2. Turn on the heat to medium-low heat and slowly bring to almost boil, about 10 minutes.

      Awase Dashi 4
    3. Meanwhile, clean the dashi by skimming the surface.

      Awase Dashi 5
    4. Just before the dashi starts boiling, remove kombu from the pot (Reserve the kombu and see below for what to do with it). If you leave the kombu inside, the dashi will become slimy and bitter. 

      Awase Dashi 6
    5. Add the katsuobushi and bring it to a boil again, skimming occasionally.

      Awase Dashi 7
    6. Once the dashi is boiling, reduce the heat, simmer for just 30 seconds, and turn off the heat.

      Awase Dashi 8
    7. Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom, about 10 minutes.

      Awase Dashi 9
    8. Strain the dashi through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl or measuring cup (Reserve the katsuobushi and see below for what to do with it). Awase Dashi is ready to use.

      Awase Dashi 10
    To Store
    1. If you are not using the dashi right away, store the dashi in a bottle or mason jar and keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.

      Awase Dashi in a measuring cup, and kombu and katsuobushi on a bamboo basket.
    What to Do with Used Kombu and Katsuobushi
    1. Save the hydrated kombu and drained katsuobushi to make Homemade Furikake (rice seasoning) or Kombu Tsukudani (simmered kombu). If you don't make them right away, you can freeze them for 2-3 weeks. You can also make Niban Dashi (see below).

      Awase Dashi 11
    Optional: Niban Dashi (Second Dashi)
    1. In the medium pot, put 2-4 cups* of water and previously used kombu and katsuobushi from making the (first) dashi. Bring it to a boil over medium-low heat. *2 cups would make stronger dashi.

    2. Remove the kombu just before the liquid comes to a boil, then lower the heat, and cook for 10 minutes, skimming occasionally.

    3. Add an additional ½ cup (5 grams) katsuobushi and turn off the heat.

    4. Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom and strain the dashi through the fine-mesh sieve.

    Recipe Notes

    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.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2013. The images and content have been updated in April 2019.

     

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