How to Make Japanese Dashi from Scratch

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Dashi is a miso-based stock that is used frequently in Japanese cooking. Japanese people often use stock cubes or powdered dashi but it’s easy to make your own fresh dashi and it tastes so much better.


500ml boiling water
4 tablespoons of miso paste
1 tablespoon of bonito flakes


1. Put the water into a saucepan with the miso. Mix well, breaking down the miso with a fork.

2. When the miso has melted, turn the heat to a simmer and add the bonito flakes. They should float to the top at the beginning. When they fall to the bottom of the saucepan, turn the heat off and leave until the dashi has gone cold.

3. Strain and use immediately, or keep in the fridge in a covered container for up to a week.

Recipe notes on making dashi

– Bonito flakes are dried tuna flakes – you can buy a small bag in specialist Asian shops. They are a basic component of home-made dashi.

– Miso comes in different colours: dark brown, caramel and white. Use the caramel one for dashi.

– Dashi can be used as a base for a soup. Just add finely sliced ginger, thin strips of carrot, slices of chicken breast or beef and simmer until cooked. Garnish with chopped spring onions.

– You can buy dashi stock cubes and Japanese cooks regularly use them. You’ll find dashi stock powder in the Asian markets if you don’t want to make it from scratch.

–  Don’t serve any dish made with dashi to someone who is allergic to fish or seafood.

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