How to Make Dashi
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Dashi refers to a family of soup stocks used as the base for miso soup and other popular Japanese dishes. This incredibly simple, yet tasty, broth contains extracted umami components, such as amino acids and flavors from kelp and other ingredients to create a tasty balance of flavors. Unlike traditional soup stocks and broths that contain an assortment of meats, vegetables, spices, and herbs and must be simmered for hours, dashi generally contains just a couple of ingredients and takes less than 20 minutes to make. Dashi can be made from scratch, or if you’re short on time, from powder or liquid dashi concentrate (shiro dashi).
There are many different types of dashi used in Japanese cooking, such as kombu dashi, iriko dashi, awase dashi, shiitake dashi, and katsuo dashi. While many types of dashi are vegan, some recipes call for fish or meat.
There are two main methods of making dashi. We’ll begin with the least time-consuming option and progress to a more complex method.
How to Make Dashi with Dashi Powder or Liquid Dashi Concentrate
Short on time? Use dashi powder or liquid dashi concentrate to make dashi in a matter of minutes. Dashi powder or liquid concentrate can also be used to flavor other Japanese dishes and the powder can be sprinkled over food.
- 3 g dashi powder or 48 ml liquid dashi concentrate
- 480 ml water
- Add water to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, add the dashi powder or liquid dashi concentrate.
- Stir the dashi powder or liquid concentrate into the water until fully incorporated. Turn off the heat and the dashi is ready to use immediately. Instant dashi does not store well in the refrigerator or freezer.
How to Make Dashi from Scratch
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Servings: 800 ml
Learning how to make dashi from scratch can vary depending on the type of dashi you would like to make. One of the most basic recipes is kombu dashi, a vegan and vegetarian dish made from kombu, or dried kelp. There are two main methods used to make dashi from scratch: cold brew and hot brew.
- 10g kombu (dried kelp)
- 1000 ml water
Use kitchen scissors to cut several slits on the kombu. These slits help to release more flavor from the kelp.
Cold Brew Method
- Put water and kombu into a large bottle. Place a cap on the bottle and allow it to steep for 2 to 3 hours in the warmer months or 4 to 5 hours in the winter months. Alternatively, the mixture can steep overnight in the refrigerator.
- Remove the kombu from the bottle and the dashi is ready for use. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to two weeks.
Hot Brew Method
- Put water and kombu into a medium pot and place over medium-low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to an almost boil. This should take about 10 minutes.
- While cooking, use a skimmer to carefully skim the surface of the dashi.
- Just before the mixture begins to boil, remove the kombu from the pot. The mixture is now ready to use. The dashi can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to two weeks.