If you love Japanese cuisine as much as we do, the umami taste of dashi will certainly sound familiar. Dashi is the authentic broth that classically consists of kombu and bonito flakes (katsuobushi), i.e. algae and a type of tuna. However, the fish broth is also available as a vegan version, where you can also use shiitake mushrooms as a flavour enhancer. Dashi is an important basic ingredient for many soups, for example ramen, stews, miso soups or sauces. Although the simple broth has only three ingredients - water, fish and kombu - the taste is rich and aromatic. Let's delve into the facets of dashi....
The fish broth
To make the broth, the ingredients are boiled and then strained out, leaving only the light golden-coloured broth. In addition to bonito flakes, other types of fish such as mackerel, herring or sardines are often used for the stock. As the base of many dishes, dashi ensures that the other ingredients are enhanced and the 5th sense of taste, umami, is activated. In Japan, dashi is an important spice blend, especially for soups. Vegan dashi is made by using only kombu and cooking shiitake mushrooms, for example.
Make your own dashi
Unlike European vegetable or meat broth, you can make dashi yourself in as little as 20 minutes. Of course, there are also elaborate broths in Japan that take hours to cook. Then dashi is also refined with vegetables and meat. Here we are talking about a quick broth for in-between meals:
Take one or two kombu leaves and soak them in cold water for at least 20 minutes. Heat some water (500 ml), then turn off the heat and add the kombu and 10 grams of bonito flakes (or dried and previously soaked shiitake mushrooms). After a few minutes, strain out the ingredients and your broth is ready. You can also leave the ingredients in the pot for an hour, depending on your preference. The only important thing is that the algae do not boil, but are only heated in the water.
As powder or liquid?
Of course, a fresh dashi broth is very tasty. But dashi in powder form is also good for miso soups or stews if you need to make it very quickly or don't have any bonito flakes in the house. Vegan powdered dashi also has an intense flavour.
MYCONBINI tip: If you like dashi, you'll love our signature broth in a jar. Made regionally in Germany and with lots of delicious organic ingredients, it's an all-rounder in the kitchen.