Dashi is a soup stock that’s the base ingredient in not just many Japanese soups, but all sorts of Japanese dishes. The most famous soup made with dashi is probably miso, but if you’re eating a Japanese soup that has a strong umami flavor, it’s safe to bet it contains dashi. Traditionally, it’s produced by heating water containing kombu (dried kelp), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), iriko (dried anchovies) or shiitake (dried shiitake mushrooms) to almost boiling and then straining the solids. You can also buy instant dashi, which is quite popular in Japan too.
Along with its value in soups, dashi is an important ingredient in other types of foods. One common usage is to mix it into the batter that’s used for okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and other yaki dishes, or soaking vegetables and other ingredients in it to impart its signature umami flavor.
At Uwajimaya, you can find all the ingredients for homemade dashi. Alternatively, if you prefer the tastiness of dashi without the wait, we carry instant dashi in liquid and powder form.