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UMAMI : Daiwa Food Home Brand
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DASHI -How to make authentic dashi-

2017-06-15 14:00:09

"Dashi" is the stock which is the important base of all Japanese food.


Powder or liquid Dashi are available for everyday use and they are nice, but real Dashi with quality ingredients has the taste with deep flavour to appreciate.

Why real Dashi is so special?? How do we make at home??

We would like to answer the questions here!



The type of Dashi

They can be used individually and together.


katsuo dashi        Bonito Dashi


Great flavour with beautiful golden clear stock. The delicate taste should be enjoyed in simple sumashijiru(Japanese clear soup) or miso soup.


Konbudashi       Konbu(Kelp) Dashi


Light taste by itself, but it increases the depth of the taste a lot when it combined with other dashi especially meat or fish based or other ingredients.


Niboshidashi       Dried  Small Fish Dashi


It has a depth of flavour with rich aroma from niboshi(small dried fish). Usually niboshi is lightly roasted before using for stock, so it doesn't have fishy taste as you might imagine. This goes well with nimono(Japanese stew) or miso soup with vegetables.


Hoshishiitake       Dried Shiitake Dashi


It is often used for Buddhism cuisine in Japan. The flavour of shiitake matches well with homemade mentsuyu(Japanese dipping sauce for cold noodles) or stir-fries.


All dashi is nice by itself, but the taste incredibly becomes better when it is combined together which is called "Awase Dashi"(Mixed Dashi).  That is because of the main umami components of Dashi.

<Umami Components of Dashi>


The amount of umami components vary depending on food and the condition of maturing even with the same food. For example, tomato increase its glutamic acid when it is fully matured. Also when meat or fish are matured, the umami content is increased. It is easy to understand why red tomato or aging steaks taste nice from the reason.


And these umami components synergistically work max7-8 times more when they are combined to the others. That is why, the most common Awase Dashi(combined Dashi), which is bonito dashi + konbu dashi (inosinic acid + glutamic acid) is reasonably tasty.

So, to bring out the max synergistic effect of Awase Dashi, it is better to mix inosinic acid +  glutamic acid.  We can mix glutamic acid + guanylic acid, but the umami will be only 1+1 times more. No wonder bonito/dried small fish Dashi go well with vegetable ingredients, and meat/fish ingredients bring out more taste of konbu/dried mushroom Dashi.



How to take Dashi

There are boiling method & water method. Let's use the best way to bring out the maximum taste & flavour of the ingredients♪


katsuo dashi    Bonito Dashi    katsuo

Ichiban Dashi(The First Brewed Dashi) ーThe most clear delicate Dashi with the best flavour. Perfect for sumashijiru(Japanese clear soup)ー

1. Boil 1000ml of water in a pot and turn off the flame.

2. Add 30g of bonito flakes in the hot water soon and wait for 1-2 mins until the bonito flakes sink in the bottom.

3. Strain the bonito with fine sieve topped with clean cloth or water proof kitchen paper.

POINT! Not to give fishy flavour or harshness to your Dashi, be patient to strain the bonito and do not squeeze it!


Niban Dashi(The Second Brewed Dashi) ーRich taste Dashi perfect for Japanese stew or hot potー

1. Add strained bonito from Ichiban Dashi & 1000ml of water in a pot and bring to boil.

2. After it is boiled, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 mins.

3. Turn off the heat and add 10g of new bonito flakes(called Oigatsuo). Leave for 1-2 mins.

4. Strain as same as Ichiban Dashi.


Konbudashi    Konbu Dashi      konbu

Water Method 

1. Lightly whipe 20-30g of dried konbu with well squeezed clean wet cloth and remove visible dust or dirt.

2. Soak the konbu in 1L of water for over night. (When it is hot, keep in fridge.)

POINT!  Do not rub or wash dried kelp. It will remove umami as well from kelp. Some recipes might tell to make small cuts on kelp for more flavour, but it will make the Dashi bit slimy. Please follow it depending on your taste.

Boiling Method

1. Wipe your kelp as same as water method.

2. Soak in 1L of water for 20-30 mins.

3. After the kelp becomes soft, put 2. on medium heat and skim the scum all the time.

4. When the water starts to make small bubbles, remove the kelp before boiling and turn off the heat.

POINT! The Dashi will become slimy when it is boiled with kelp.


Niboshidashi     Dried  Small Fish Dashi       niboshi

1. Remove the heads & guts of 30-40g of niboshi(small dried fish).

2. Lightly roast 1. on frying pan for 3-4 mins to remove the fishy smell.

3. Soak 2. in 1Lof water for about 20-30 mins (over night if you have time.) Soak in fridge when it is hot.

4. Put 3. on high heat and skim the scam all the time. Turn off the heat when the broth gets clear without any scam.

5. Strain with paper towel.

POINT! If you have, add 10g of dried kelp as well when you soak niboshi in water and the taste will become even better. Better not to use niboshi with yellowish stomach because the colour is from oxidised oil on the fish which means old.


Hoshishiitake      Dried Shiitake Dashi      shiitake

1. Put 30g of dried shiitake in a colander and pour over water quickly to wash off big dirt.

2. Soak 1. in 1L of water and soak over night in fridge.

3. Strain with paper towel.

POINT! You can take great dried shiitake Dashi in water keeping all the umami. It is quicker to do with hot water or in microwave, but the taste & flavour will be better with cold water.

グッドマークAll the Dashi can be kept in fridge for about 1 week or 1 month in freezer. However, it doesn't have any preservative, so use up while it is fresh.


used bonito

Do not through them away!! They will be yummy furikake(rice seasoning) or tsukudani(preservable food boiled down in soy sauce). If it is trouble to make them frequently, you can freeze used bonito or konbu until you have enough amount.

Bonito Furikake

Squeeze excess water from used bonito and lightly roast it on a non stick pan (without oil)  until it gets dry. Add soy sauce(koikuchi or tamari if you have),  ryorishu(cooking sake), mirin and sugar according to your taste, and pan fry until the moisture from the seasoning are gone. Keep stirring with wooden spoon all the time not to burn.  It taste nicer with sesame seeds and nori! This can be stored in fridge for about 1 week, in freezer about 1 month.



Konbu  Tsukudani


Put soy sauce(koikuchi or tamari if you have)100ml, mirin 4 tsp, ryorishu(cooking sake) 4tsp, sugar 2tsp and cut used konbu into a sauce pan. Simmer with medium to low heat for 20-30 mins until the liquid is reduced to almost gone. Turn down the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is gone but now burnt. Keep stirring with wooden spoon all the time. It is also nice with a little bit of sansho(Japanese pepper).  This can be stored in fridge for about 2 weeks, in freezer for about 2 months.