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This is the basic stock used in almost every Japanese recipe and gives this cuisine its distinctive flavour. It has to be carefully made, however. If the ingredients of the dashi are wrongly balanced, it can mar the flavour of the dish, so it is important to learn the art of good dashi making. You ca substitute chicken stock if the thought of seaweed stock is too much for you but you will lose the authentic Japanese flavour.

Water - 6 cups
Ribbon kelp (kombu) - 30 gm
Dried bonito flakes - 30 gms


  • Wipe the kelp with a clean damp cloth. Place in a saucepan with the cold water and bring slowly to the boil over a medium heat, stirring all the time, so that the kelp releases its flavour into the stock.
  • The minute the stock begins to boil, remove the kelp and discard.
  • If it is left in the stock for longer the taste will be overpowering.
  • Add the dried bonito flakes and bring the stock back to the boil.
  • Remove pan from the heat and allow the bonito flakes to settle to the bottom.
  • Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Strain the dashi through a fine sieve and discard the bonito.
  • Your dashi is ready for use in soups, noodle dishes and dipping sauces.  
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