How to Make a Japanese Dashi Broth

Bone Broths

How to Make a Dashi Broth

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If you’ve ever had a traditional bowl of miso soup, chances are it was made with a Japanese dashi broth. It’s an essential part of Japanese cuisine and gives that classic umami flavor to many Japanese dishes, especially, of course, soups!

It’s also one of the easiest broths to make at home as it takes a fraction of the time of a chicken broth or even a fish broth. It’s made with only two ingredients, pictured here:

ingredients for japanese dashi broth

That’s kombu, pictured on the left, a type of edible kelp (which is a large type of seaweed) that’s dried into strips and bonito flakes (also called “katsuobushi”), pictured on the right, which comes from a type of dried tuna. You can find both in packaged form in health food stores or Asian markets. Eden Foods is one of the more common brands you’ll find in the former. See their kombu here and bonito flakes here.

A slightly clearer picture when removed from the packaging:

kombu and bonito flakes for japanese dashi broth

Simmered together they infuse broth with a delicate but clear umami and briny flavor that works so well in so many Japanese soups and stews. Check out my Japanese tomato noodle soup for an example that uses a Japanese dashi broth.

How to Make a Japanese Dashi Broth

Per quart of water, you’ll need about 4 large strips of kombu and about 2 cups of bonito flakes.

1. Soak the kombu

First, add the kombu to cold filtered water in a saucepan and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. A longer soaking period is better if you have the time and/or foresight to prepare it ahead of time. 3-4 hours is better and you could even or even soak it overnight.

soaking kombu for japanese dashi broth

2. Heat the water and remove the kombu before the water boils

Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium high heat. Just before the water boils, remove the kombu using tongs, like so…

removing kombu from japanese dashi broth

3. Add the bonito flakes

Make sure the water isn’t boiling too aggressively when you do this. Those bonito flakes are very delicate and can easily create a bitter flavor if overcooked via boiling. Cut the heat if need be for a minute or so. Once it’s simmering gently add the bonito flakes and simmer briefly, about 30-60 seconds.

adding bonito flakes to japanese dashi broth

4. Turn off the heat and let it sit

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes. The bonito flakes will fall to the bottom of the pan.

5. Strain

Strain the bonito flakes from the broth using a colander lined with fine mesh cheesecloth or a paper towel.

straining the japanese dashi broth

That’s it!

Use right away or store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freezer for up to 3 months.

Japanese Dashi Broth Full Recipe

How to Make a Dashi Broth

Dashi Broth

A Japanese dashi broth is an essential part of Japanese cuisine and gives a subtle umami flavor to many Japanese soups. It requires only two ingredients, kombu and bonito flakes. 

Course Broth
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 quart
Author Craig Fear

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add kombu to cold filtered water in a sauce pan and let soak for 20-30 minutes. A longer soaking period is better if you have the time and/or foresight to prepare it ahead of time. Soak it overnight if possible.
  2. Put saucepan on the stove top and bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium high heat. Just before the water boils, remove the kombu using tongs.
  3. Add the bonito flakes and simmer briefly, about 30-60 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes.
  4. Strain the bonito flakes from the broth using a colander line with fine mesh cheesecloth or a paper towel.
  5. Use right away or store in fridge for up to 2 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
A Japanese dashi broth is an essential part of Japanese cuisine and gives a subtle umami flavor to many Japanese soups. It requires only two ingredients, kombu and bonito flakes. 

#dashi #dashibroth #bonebroth #japanesecuisine #broth
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About the Author

Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.

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