Table of Contents
- What is Dashi?
- Ingredients for Rich Japanese Broth
- How to Make Japanese Dashi Broth
- Prepare Ingredients
- Boil Water and Add Ingredients
- Let it Sit
- Remove Fish and Kelp
- Related Videos
What is Dashi?
The word “Dashi(だし, 出汁)” means “extract”,”broth” or “soup stock” in Japanese. The soup stock used for Japanese Foods are mainly taken from Niboshi（にぼし,煮干,small dried sardines）, Katsuo(かつお, 鰹, bonito), Kombu(こんぶ, 昆布, kelp) or Hoshi-Shiitake(ほししいたけ,干し椎茸, dried shiitake mushroom), but we often see that any of these soup stocks are collectively called as “Dashi” outside of Japan.
There are many ways to make soup stock and any method is OK as long as the extract is out, so I will show you my favorite way that is an easy to get strong flavor out from the ingredients.
For anyone who doesn’t have time to make Dashi from scratch, you can always buy instant Dashi products. Just add hot water and done. But keep in mind the instant products contain less nutrition, more sodium and chemicals.
Ingredients for Rich Japanese Broth
In this page, you’ll learn an easy way to make Niboshi and Kombu Broth(fish and kelp broth).
- 1 to 5 Niboshi(にぼし,煮干,small dried sardines)
- 1 inch(3 to 4 sq. inches) Dried Kombu(こんぶ, 昆布, kelp)
- 2/3 cup(160ml) Water
How to Find Good Niboshi (small dried sardines)
I bet you can find from very small 1.5″ dried sardines to big 3″ dried sardines at markets. Bigger ones are more expensive but preparation will be easier. Anyway, the quality is more important than size. So, pick nice silver ones. Yellower ones tend to be lower quality.
How to Find Good Kombu (dried kelp)
First things first, I always recommend using any “Product of Japan” (products made in Japan) whenever available, in order to to make authentic Japanese broth. There 4 kinds of Japanese kelp and they taste a little different, but we will not refine the details here.
- Ma-Kombu 真昆布
It tastes delicate and clear.
- Rausu-Kombu 羅臼昆布
It tastes rich and strong.
- Rishiri-Kombu 利尻昆布
It tastes rich and clear.
- Hidaka-Kombu 日高昆布
It tastes poor compared to the other 3 kelps above.
How to Make Japanese Dashi Broth
Step 1: Prepare Ingredients
Take off the head and gutts from dried sardines, then snip it half if you want. Clean the dried kelp a little with a dry cloth and cut as much you need with scissors.
The white powder on the surface of dried kelp is a kind of Glutamic acid which is a umami component, so you don’t have to clean that.
Step 2: Boil Water and Add Ingredients
Boil water and turn off the heat. Then, add prepared fish pieces and kelp.
Step 3: Let it Sit
Step 4: Remove Fish and Kelp
Remove all pieces of fish and kelp from the water. If you have a little skimmer, this process is very easy.
If you want to eat the ingredients that you pulled up from the water, divide fish and kelp then freeze them until you have enough to make a side dish. They still contain a lot of nutrients.