Japanese Cooking Course: Dashi broth

First post in our Japanese Cooking Course, our teacher, chef and fashion designer Cristina Owen, taught us how to cook Gyozas or dumplings.

Now she will show us how to prepare one of the most important basics: Dashi.



Dashi broth is the starting point of many different Japanese dishes such as soups, salads, marinades…
Dashi it’s a tuna broth with a light colour, a smooth taste, low in fats and very nourishing.

I always recommend cooking your own dashi broth because the instant soup one you can buy in the shops is made of granulates, stemming from chemical concentrates that, besides being not so tasty, are poor in nourishing qualities. Nevertheless if you are lacking time to make it at home, instant broth is a satisfying option regarding taste and time required.

Although were talking about a “homemade broth” you must not be put off by the task: compared with traditional European meat or fish broths it’s easier and quicker to make and you can preserve it in small doses that will yield many different dishes. Besides, it can be used not just for Japanese cooking, but you also can experiment and make it a good substitute of typical European chicken, fish or meat broths in soups.

There are two kinds of homemade dashi: Ichiban and Niban Dashi. The first one is used in meals with a stronger flavour and the second one is to be used in sauces or dishes with smoother, more subtle taste.

Ichiban dashi (First broth)

  • 2 pieces of about 10cm long kombu seaweed
  • 50g katsuobushi (dried tuna flakes)
  • 1,2l water
Kombu seaweed

Kombu seaweed

Katsuobushi tuna flakes

Katsuobushi tuna flakes

1. When we start handling kombu seaweed, fist thing we notice it’s that it is covered with a light white dust. Just by rubbing gently with a damp cloth, it will go away


2. Soak kombu seaweed in a pot filled with water. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.


3.Bring water to boiling point but make sure of taking away/off kombu seaweed before it actually boils, otherwise the broth will taste too strong.

4.Turn off the fire and drop in katsuobushi. This is step is made differently in every home so I recommend experimenting until we find the flavour we like most. Ideally katsuobushi should sit between 5 and 20 minutes or until all the tuna flakes have sunken in the bottom of the pot. Do not let tehm soak beyond 20 minutes or the broth will end up being too bitter.




5. Sieve it as shown in the picture, through a thick kitchen paper towel or a cotton cloth, so we get a completely clean broth.



Niban dashi:

  • 1,2l water
  • The Kombu and Katsuobushi already used for the Ichiban Dashi.

1.Cook kombut and katsuobushi from the Ichiban Dashi in water at a medium fire.

2. Just before it reaches the boiling point, turn off the fire and take away kombu seaweed.

3.Let it sit for 3-4 minutes and then sieve the broth to eliminate the katsuobushi the same way we did for Ichiban Dashi.

Instant Dashi

Instant dashi

Instant dashi

If we want to skip the cooking process, we can always resort to instant dashi:

  • 600ml water
  • 4gr. (about a tablespoon) of granulated instant dashi.

Just mix et voilà!

Dashi preservation tips

If you keep it in the fridge, it lasts for 3-4 days.

Best option is to pour dashi into ice cube trays for it is actually not neccesary a lot of dashi for most of the dishes. Afterwards, they can easily get dissolved in water.

More recipes to come soon!


If you want to follow Cris, or get to know MUST!, her fashion brand, have a look here.

If you want to get informed about her cooking classes in Bilbao, keep an eye en Grupo Hal page, the company organizing them, or write them at contacto @ grupohal.com

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