Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi



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.


2 Responses to “Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi”

  1. Stephen Fox, Editor, New Mexico Sun News Says:

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS. Ajinomoto is the largest maker of neurotoxic food additives like MSG and Aspartame.
    Just google and read AJINOMOTO RECIPE FOR DEATH, or any of my articles on their heinous skullduggery. I don’t know what neurotoxins or carcinogens are in the additive you are extolling, Zach, but you further that company’s deadly agenda by posting such puff pieces.

    Stephen Fox,
    Editor, New Mexico Sun News
    Santa Fe, NM

  2. Zack Davisson Says:

    Hi Stephen,

    I appreciate your comments, although I have to disagree with you. Scare tactics aside, MSG has been clinicially proven time and time again to have no negative effects, and fears of it are entirely unfounded.

    Japan has one of the longest life expectancies in the world, and is generally noted as a healthy country, and they eat MSG-flavored foods pretty much every day, three times a day. I use it in my own cooking constantly, with no ill effects.

    If you don’t want to take my word for it, then take food scientiest Harold McGee’s. In his book “Of Food and Cooking” he wrote “”[after many studies], toxicologists have concluded that MSG is a harmless ingredient for most people, even in large amounts.”

    Zack Davisson

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