The Ultimate Dashi Guide
Dashi (だし, 出汁) or Dashijiru (出し汁) is Japanese soup stock that is the backbone of many Japanese dishes. It is all-important and indispensable, and you can trace its existence in Japanese daily cooking back to the Edo period (17th Century)
Below is the ultimate guide to Dashi and making a bowl of Dashi Ramen.
What is dashi?
It is a soup stock made of infusions of foods that are rich in umami, including bonito fish flakes, dried kombu kelp seaweed, dried shiitake mushrooms, and dried whole sardines. Dashi makes up the liquid base in most savory Japanese dishes, including miso soup, udon, and ramen noodle dishes, and nabe stews. It is also used as a seasoning in dishes like tamagoyaki omelets and seaweed salads. Dashi is what gives these dishes that unique, slightly seafood-like, umami flavor that is most readily associated with Japanese cuisine.
What Does Dashi Taste Like?
All the dried ingredients that are used to make Japanese soup stock are rich in naturally occurring glutamates and provide intense flavor to the stock. Dashi creates a savory umami flavor from all these ingredients and you don’t need to season the food as much once you have a good stock.
With a distinctive sweet and savory note, the deep umami flavor is what set dashi apart from other stocks.