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Dashi is an incredibly simple broth, and it forms one of the culinary cornerstones of Japanese cooking. It’s made in about 10 minutes with just three ingredients: water, kombu (dried kelp), and bonito fish flakes. Bonito flakes can be difficult to obtain in the UK I use smoked mackerel  or trout. The resulting clear broth tastes like the essence of the sea. Dashi can be used as a base stock for many stews, casseroles  and soups.

Dashi can be used to make a fantastic bowl of miso soup to poach fish or vegetables, or to add savoury umami flavour to any number of  dishes. Here’s how you can make it at home.

For a Vegan Dashi replace fish flakes with Sea Lettuce from Ebb Tides Sea Salad.



  • bonito fish flakes
  • kombu (dried kelp)
  • water


  1. Put the dried kelp in one litre of water and soak overnight (or at least 2 hours).
  2. Put the water with the kelp on a low to medium heat.
  3. Remove the kelp just before the water boils.
  4. Bring the water to the boil, then add fish flakes.
  5. Boil on a medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.(For a more subtle taste boil for a shorter time. Boil longer for a stronger dashi).
  6. Remove the fish flakes and the dashi is ready simple and delicious and full of goodness.