In its basic form, dashi is an umami-rich broth made by boiling ingredients to extract flavor from them. An essential and indispensable ingredient in Japanese cooking, dashi is used in a variety of dishes from noodle soup bases to simmering liquids for stews to seasoning for sauces.
Popular dashi bases include konbu (dried kelp), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), iriko (dried anchovies), niboshi (dried sardines), ago (dried flying fish) and shiitake (dried shiitake mushrooms). Dashi can be made using just one ingredient or a combination of multiple ingredients. One popular pairing is konbu and katsuobushi, which makes awase or “mixed” dashi. Vegan dashi made from konbu and shiitake is also growing in popularity.
This recipe for homemade white dashi comes together in just a few minutes. Compared to other dashi stocks, white dashi is characterized by its light color. Because of its clear hue, white dashi can be added to dishes without changing their color.
To make white dashi, simply mix together sake, mirin, soy sauce, salt, and katsuobushi dashi powder. We recommend this variety of katsuobushi which is produced inMakurazaki City, Kagoshima Prefecture, and has a deep and aromatic flavor that comes from months of fermentation. Use white dashiin matsutake suimono (clear soup),chawanmushi (savory egg custard), vegetable ohitashi (cooked vegetables), noodle soups, or any recipe where it is important to preserve the original color of ingredients!
- 50ml cooking sake
- 25ml mirin
- 1 tsp soy sauce (available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining "Wa" Care Package)
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp katsuobushi dashi (water will suffice if you are in a pinch)
- Combine all the ingredients together and use in dressings, sauces, marinades, soups, hot pots and more!
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.