Dashi - Classic Japanese Soup Stock Recipe


1 quart cold water

 A piece of konbu, about 5 inches square

 1 cup Katsuobishi flakes 


Dashi (Japanese Soup Stock) Recipe

The Dashi soup base recipe is adapted from Go Home, Cook Rice by Joan Namkoong (Namkoong Publishing, 2001) If you can find this cookbook it is great to have!

Dashi is the basic stock used in Japanese Cuisine. It is a simple combination of kombu (kelp - a cold water seaweed that grows off the coast of northern Japan), and Katsuibushi (thinly shaved pieces of dried bonito - a member of the Mackerel family)


 1. Wipe a piece of konbu with a damp cloth: the whitish powder on the surface of the kombu holds the flavor of the seaweed; do not wash it in water.

2. Place water and the konbu in a saucepan and heat.

3. Just before the water comes to a boil, remove the kombu. At this point the best flavor has been released; if left to boil, the konbu will release a strong odor and it will become slimy.

4. Add Katsuoboshi to the liquid, turn off heat and let stand for 10 to 20 seconds without stirring. Do not boil otherwise the stock will become cloudy. Strain liquid. The resulting flavorful liquid is called number one dashi, used in clear soups.

5. The konbu and Katsuobushi can be used again with a fresh pot of water to make number two dashi.

6. Place in a pot with 1-1/2 quarts of cold water and heat.

7. Just before it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minuted or until stock is reduced by a third. You can add a little more fresh katsuobushi for flavor, letting it settle.

8. Strain the liquid and discard Kasuobushi and konbu.

Number two dashi is used for thick soup, noodle broths or other preparations that are seasoned with soy or miso.