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How To Make Japanese Dashi Stock

How To Make Japanese Dashi Stock, Lay The Table

Earlier in the month, I wrote about 8 Useful Japanese Ingredients. Here’s a recipe for dashi stock that I learnt from cookery writer Kimiko Barber at her Japanese Kitchen cookery workshop held at Books for Cooks in Notting Hill, London. This recipe is taken from Kimiko’s recipe booklet that was handed out in class.

Apart from a brief period, I’ve always made dashi stock using ready-made dashi granules that come in small jars or packets. But watching Kimiko make it in class reminded me of how quick it is to prepare fresh – 5 minutes – and I was so inspired that I immediately stocked up on konbu and bonito fish flakes!

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She recommends making it fresh and using it the same day, rather than freezing it, otherwise the subtle flavours will be lost.

Her next recipe that I will be publishing next week is for leek and shiitake mushroom miso soup, so you’ll need to make fresh dashi for that, as well as for my easy recipe for Asian vegetable noodle soup.

How To Make Japanese Dashi Stock, Lay The Table

1 postcard-sized piece of konbu (dry kelp seaweed)
1 litre water
20g dried bonito fish flakes

  • wipe off any dirty bits on the konbu with damp kitchen towel, then cut small slashes in it to help with the release of flavour
  • add konbu and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat
  • remove konbu when it begins to float to the surface, just before water reaches boiling point. Don’t  boil it as it will discolour the dashi and make it bitter
  • add bonito flakes and let water return to the boil, before removing from heat
  • allow flakes to settle to the bottom, then strain the stock using a sieve lined with kitchen towel or coffee filter
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How To Make Japanese Dashi Stock, Lay The Table

Here’s another idea from Kimiko on how to make another type of dashi that she calls water dashi.


  • 1 postcard-sized piece of konbu
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 7g bonito fish flakes
  • 1 litre boiled, cooled water

If you liked this, try these recipes from the same cookery course:

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