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How to Make Dashi Stock

Dashi stock varies from region to region and from housewife to housewife. This page explains how to make the three basic types of dashi: katsuo dashi, niboshi dashi and mixed dashi, which combines kombu and bonito flakes.

Katsuo Dashi

Katsuo (bonito) dashi has a distinct rich taste and is not hidden by seasoning.
It is also used for noodle soups.

Ingredients of Katsuo Dashi

Water  800cc

Bonito flakes  A handful  30g

Directions

  • Bring the water to a boil and add the bonito flakes. (Adding the bonito flakes momentarily suppresses boiling.)
  • When the water boils again, stop the heat and wait until the bonito flakes sink to the bottom.
  • Do not keep boiling the water after adding the bonito flakes.

  • Strain the dashi stock with a paper towel or a strainer.
  • Do not squeeze dashi stock strongly from the strained bonito flakes.

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How to Choose Bonito Flakes

Bonito flakes (kezuri-bushi) best for making miso soup at home are large and thin flakes. Blackish bonito flakes containing dark flesh give a rich dashi taste. Thick bonito flakes and mackerel flakes also give rich dashi tastes.

Niboshi Dashi
(Iriko Dashi)

Niboshi is dried sardine, and its dashi stock is widely used in the Kansai area.
Niboshi dashi stock is rich in both taste and flavor.

Ingredients of Niboshi Dashi

Water  800cc

Niboshi (Iriko, or dried small sardines) 32g (8 ~ 12 dried sardines)

Directions

  • Remove the heads and guts from the niboshi.
  • The heads and guts cause a smell. Remove them thoroughly.

  • Place the water and niboshi in a pan and leave for 20 ~ 30 minutes.
  • Heat the pan and skim the scum off the soup. After boiling for 2 ~ 3 minutes, strain the dashi stock with a paper towel or a strainer.
  • Skim the scum thoroughly.

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How to Choose Niboshi

Choose niboshi which are well dried and have their backs bent toward the bellies. They are fresh niboshi.
If their bellies are bent toward the backs or if they have broken backs or hollowed bellies, they are not fresh niboshi. Avoid such niboshi.

Mixed Dashi

Mixed dashi is a dashi stock combining katsuo (bonito) and kombu seaweed.
It has a delicate and mild taste.

Ingredients of Mixed Dashi

Water  800cc

Kombu 16g (2 square pieces of 8-cm)

Bonito flakes 25g

Directions

  • Clean the surfaces of kombu with a tightly wrung cloth.
  • Place the water and kombu in a pan and leave for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat the pan and take out the kombu just before boiling.
  • Avoid boiling the kombu.

  • Add the bonito flakes to the stock. When the stock boils, stop the heat and wait until the bonito flakes sink to the bottom. Strain the dashi stock with a paper towel or a strainer.
  • Do not squeeze dashi stock strongly from the strained bonito flakes.

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How to Choose Kombu

For miso soup, choose kombu which are well dried and thick and has a good flavor.
Kombu is graded strictly in Japan according to their sea areas (areas of production).

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