Kombu Dashi | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Kombu Dashi (Vegetarian/Vegan Dashi)

Course: Condiments, How to
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: dashi, kombu, stock
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 800 ml (3 ⅓ cups)
Author: Nami

Learn how to make Kombu Dashi, vegan-friendly Japanese soup stock, at home and create the umami flavor for your Japanese dishes! 

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Ingredients

  • oz kombu (dried kelp) (10 g, 4" x 4" OR 10 cm x 10 cm) (You can add more for stronger flavor)
  • 4 cups water (roughly 1000 ml)

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 musty. DO NOT wash or wipe off the white powdery substance (Mannitol), which contributes to the umami flavor in dashi. 

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

    Kombu Dashi 1

Method 1: Cold Brew Kombu Dashi (Mizudashi)

  1. Put water and kombu in a large bottle.

    Kombu Dashi 2
  2. Put the cap on 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.

    Kombu Dashi 3
  3. Remove the kombu from the bottle and reserve the used kombu (see below). Kombu dashi is now ready to use. If you are not using the dashi right away, save it in a bottle and keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks. I recommend using it sooner for the best flavor.

    Kombu Dashi (Vegan Japanese Dashi Stock) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Method 2: Kombu Dashi with Boiling Water (Nidashi)

  1. In a medium pot, put the kombu and water. [optional] If you have time, soak for 3 hours or up to a half day ahead of time. Kombu’s flavor comes out naturally from soaking in water.

    Kombu Dashi 4
  2. Turn on the heat to medium-low heat and slowly bring to almost boil, about 10 minutes. 

    Kombu Dashi 5
  3. Meanwhile, clean the dashi by skimming the surface.

    Kombu Dashi 6
  4. Just before the dashi starts boiling, remove kombu from the pot (see below for what to do with it). If you leave the kombu inside, the dashi will become slimy and bitter. 

    Kombu Dashi 7
  5. Now kombu dashi is ready to use. If you are not using the dashi right away, save it in a bottle and keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks. I recommend using it sooner for the best flavor.

    Kombu Dashi | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

What to Do with Used Kombu

  1. Save the used kombu in the airtight container for a few days in the refrigerator or for up to a month in the freezer. With the leftover kombu, you can make Kombu Tsukudani (simmered kombu) or Homemade Furikake (rice seasoning). I usually save the leftover kombu enough to make tsukudani.

    Kombu Dashi 8

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.