5.0 out of 5 stars Can’t cook Japanese without it
The basic stock for 1,000s of Japanese recipes, dashi is absolutely essential for anyone wanting to cook authentic Japanese cuisine. As famous chef Shizuo Tsuji once said ” “many substitutes for dashi are possible, but without dashi, dishes are merely a la japonaise and lack the authentic flavor”.
Dashi can be made pretty easily from scratch, boiling some kombu or katsuobushi shavings, but you often make far more than you need for the particular recipe, and it can be a pain to spend all that time boiling. Instant dashi does the trick just fine, and almost no one will notice the substitution. This kind here, “Hon Dashi” (meaing “Real Dashi”), is the cream of the crop of instant substitutes. Made by the company Ajinomoto, Hon Dashi is absolutely brimming with umami, the fifth basic flavor found in Asian cooking. Hon Dashi is made from katsuobushi shavings, so it is a basic fish stock and not suitable for vegans, who would probably want to make their own kombu stock.
I use Hon Dashi for almost everything, from basic miso soup, to tamagoyaki, to using it to boil vegetables and give them a heartier flavor. Along with mirin and soy sauce, it is one of the most basic ingredients in a Japanese kitchen.