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Iriko Dashi (Anchovy Stock) いりこだし・煮干しだし

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    Learn how to make Iriko Dashi (Niboshi Dashi), a Japanese anchovy stock made by boiling dried anchovies. This stock is fundamental to enhance your miso soup for authentic flavor!

    Iriko Dashi - Japanese Soup Stock in the bottle.

    Making dashi (Japanese soup stock) is an all-important step in Japanese cooking to create authentic flavor. Today I want to share how to make a Japanese anchovy stock called Iriko Dashi (いりこだし) or Niboshi Dashi (煮干しだし), commonly used in miso soup and many other hot pots, noodle soup, and simmered dishes.

    What is Iriko Dashi?

    Iriko Dashi (いりこだし) or Niboshi Dashi (煮干しだし) is Japanese soup stock made from Iriko (いりこ) / Niboshi (煮干し), dried baby sardines or anchovies.

    Anchovy (Iriko / Niboshi) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbok.comAnchovy (Iriko / Niboshi) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

    Iriko (いりこ) / Niboshi (煮干し) come in sizes between 1.5″ to 3″ long and are often sold in plastic bags at Japanese and Asian grocery stores. They have been boiled in salt water once and then dried.

    The smaller baby anchovies have a milder flavor, and the larger ones have more umami. They are high in calcium and are a great source of Omega 3, protein and minerals.

    In Japan, we enjoy these dried baby anchovies as a snack or use them to make soup stock. They are also a common ingredient in Korean, Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines where they are used in many different ways!

    Anchovy (Iriko / Niboshi) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

    Iriko vs Niboshi – Are They The Same Thing?

    Now I have been using both iriko and niboshi throughout the post when referencing the dried baby anchovies. Not to confuse you, they are actually the same thing.

    The Japanese have a knack with naming produce and vegetables, so you can find different names are being used in different regions of Japan.

    Watch How to Make Iriko Dashi

    Learn how to make Iriko Dashi (Niboshi Dashi), a Japanese anchovy stock made by boiling dried anchovies. This stock is fundamental to enhance your miso soup for authentic flavor!

    Iriko Dashi - Japanese Baby Anchovy Soup Stock in the bottle.

    What Dishes to Make with Iriko Dashi

    Iriko dashi is a very common stock choice to make miso soup because dried iriko are more affordable in price than katsuobushi or kombu. Since Japanese drink miso soup almost every day, it makes sense to use Iriko Dashi. Its briny and pronounced flavor also complements the bold miso, resulting in a more complex tasting soup.

    You can also use Iriko Dashi in recipes such as:

    • Simmered dishes with soybeans, vegetables, seaweed, mushrooms
    • Udon noodle soup
    • Strongly-flavored dishes
    • Good to mix with kombu dashi

    Anchovy stock is also a basic stock for Korean cuisine, and the process of making the stock is very similar to the one for Japanese cuisine. For those who cannot find kombu or katsuobushi, you can try finding these dried baby anchovies/sardines from Korean grocery stores to make this Iriko 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.

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    4.5 from 12 votes
    Iriko Dashi - Japanese Baby Anchovy Soup Stock in the bottle.
    Iriko Dashi (Anchovy Stock)
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    55 mins
    Learn how to make Iriko dashi, a Japanese anchovy stock made by boiling dried anchovy. This stock is fundamental to enhance your miso soup for authentic flavor!
    Course: Condiments, How to
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: soup broth, stock
    Servings: 3 cup
    Author: Namiko Chen
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Iriko Dashi Ingredients
    2. I highly recommend removing the head and gut from the fish to reduce bitter flavor in iriko dashi. First, remove the head, and then around the belly area (bottom side), take out the gut inside (black color).

      Iriko Dashi 1
    3. Continue with the rest of the iriko/niboshi. Discard the head and guts.

      Iriko Dashi 2
    4. Soak the iriko/niboshi in the 4 cups of water for 20-30 minutes, preferably overnight.

      Iriko Dashi 3
    5. Transfer the water and iriko/niboshi into a small saucepan and slowly bring the water to a boil.

      Iriko Dashi 4
    6. When boiling, skim and reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes.

      Iriko Dashi 5
    7. Remove from the heat and drain into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl or measuring cup. Any extra dashi needs to be refrigerated and used within 3-5 days or freeze for later use.

      Iriko Dashi 6
    8. If you don't make it right away, you can freeze the leftover iriko/niboshi and defrost to make it later on.

      Iriko Dashi 7
    9. You can season the leftover iriko with sweet soy sauce flavors just like how we make Tazukuri (Candied Sardine).
      Tazukuri | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    Recipe Notes

    Iriko or Niboshi (dried baby sardines/anchovies): Iriko or Niboshi can be found in Japanese/Korean/Asian grocery stores. You will need ¼ cup (10 g) of iriko/niboshi for 2 cups (500 ml) water.


    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: The post was originally published in March 2014. New images and content have been added to the post in April 2019.


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