Dashi is an important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It is a type of stock widely used in soups and noodle dishes, and I dare say it is irreplaceable. While it looks unassuming and not as rich as your typical vegetable broth, if you attempt to replace this with water, somehow, the food turns out disappointing.
Yes, I’ve tried it.
Yes, I failed at making water and soy sauce taste good.
Honestly, I don’t know what magic is in the dashi, but I know that without it, the final product wouldn’t taste right. Fortunately, this kombu dashi recipe is ridiculously easy, even for a lazy cook like myself.
Dashi is traditionally made out of kombu, a type of kelp, and bonito flakes. This recipe omits the bonito flakes (for obvious reasons) and relies solely on the kombu to provide the flavour. I find that this is sufficient for most recipes, such as my vegan udon soup with aburaage recipe. Most important of all (to me, at least!), it is quick and easy to make.
Truthfully speaking, a packet of kombu is not cheap (at least by my standards, heh). Unfortunately, it is essential in Japanese cooking so you gotta have it. I get my kombu here and surprisingly one packet can last longer than you think. With this recipe, one packet can give you about 54 cups of dashi. Doesn’t sound too expensive now, eh?
Vegan + Gluten Free + Low Carb + No Onion No Garlic
Easy Kombu Dashi Recipe
- 3 inch kombu strip
- 3 cups water filtered
Place the dried kelp into a bottle/jar along with 3 cups of water. Leave this in the fridge overnight, or at least for 2 hours if overnight is not possible.
The next morning, pour everything into a saucepan and once it starts boiling, remove the kelp and discard it. Don't leave it in there boiling for too long or else the stock will turn slimy.
Let the stock cool and store it in the fridge once it has cooled.