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Dashi (Japanese Stock)

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)


Dashi is the basic stock used to flavor many Japanese dishes. For a vegetarian version, omit the bonito flakes and double the quantity of kombu. If you prefer a stronger-flavored stock, once strained, return the dashi to the heat and simmer gently for 10 more minutes.


  1. 1 postcard-size piece of kombu
  2. 4 cups water
  3. A handful (⅓ ounces) bonito fish flakes


  1. Make a few cuts in the kombu to release its flavor as it cooks.
  2. Put the water in a saucepan, add the kombu, and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Just before boiling, remove the kombu and discard it.
  3. Add the bonito flakes and bring the pan back to a boil. Do not stir.
  4. Remove from the heat when the dashi boils. When the bonito flakes have settled, strain the dashi through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.