Simple in its recipe but concentrated in flavor, dashi soup stock is a key element that’s commonly used in many areas of Japanese cooking. A part of Japanese cuisine for hundreds of generations, most traditional dashi recipes are made from simmered kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes). The striking but unusual flavor unlocked from standard dashi is attributed to being the fifth flavor of umami, giving an indulgent savory kick to a variety of classic Japanese dishes. Common dashi variations include kombu dashi (simmered kelp), niboshi dashi (made from small dried sardines, also sometimes used as a katsuobushi substitute), and dried shiitake mushroom dashi.
Dashi is incredibly versatile, it can be used as a base flavor in noodle broths and miso soup, or it can mixed into savory batters for okonomiyaki and takoyaki. While the significance of dashi in Japanese cuisine has not declined, instant dashi has become more widely used in recent years, greatly replacing dashi that’s homemade from scratch. Dashi is used to create the backbone of so many dishes in Japanese cuisine; it’s almost unavoidable, a complex and quintessential cooking broth that brings depth to traditional dishes in Japan. Learn the secrets of dashi in a delicious Japanese cooking class or become a dashi expert at an ultimate dashi tasting session. Discover dashi in-depth and join one of our Japanese food experiences for a hit of umami flavor.