What To Cook With Dashi Stock? 12 Best Recipes With Dashi
When was the last time you’ve tasted a dish that had all the distinctive flavors and it instantly became your favorite meal?
A few moments in your life you say? I know exactly what you mean!
In this article, we’re going to talk about the Dashi stock (broth) that brings out the best in almost every meal you mix it with.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Best 12 recipes that use dashi
- 2 Simmer down
- 3 What is Dashi?
- 4 At the heart of Japanese cuisine
Best 12 recipes that use dashi
Also read this post on making the Dashi from scratch if you’re into that (and some easy dashi and vegan dashi substitutes to try)
The first and most obvious use for dashi stock is to use it to make miso soup. There aren’t many ingredients in miso soup, but the dashi stock is one of the most important ones to include. Even if you left out the dashi but included the miso paste, your miso soup would not have the incredibly rich umami that dashi stock gives it.
If you like a good miso soup but don’t have the time, here’s a great miso breakfast recipe you can make in minutes
Yes, there are a lot of ramen recipes out there that make use of dashi. Like miso soup, ramen benefits from using dashi stock to make an incredibly delicious and savory soup. This does, however, exclude most conventional instant ramens that you would find in a grocery store since those are just dehydrated ramen noodles that require hot water and nothing else.
There are actually a lot of different ramen broth types you could try, you should read it if you have the time.
Moving on from soup, another example of something you can make with dashi stock is nikujaga. Nikujaga is a type of beef stew that is the Japanese equivalent of a beef and potato type of stew. Other vegetables can be added in as well. Then all the ingredients are cooked in delicious dashi stock.
Speaking of tofu, there is another use for dashi when it comes to cooking a filet of tofu. With this recipe, you can make a delicious dashi gravy that you pour after a fried block of tofu. With the warm dashi poured over the tofu, each bite will melt in your mouth into a puddle of savory and delicious flavors.
If you’re in the mood for a thick soup-like hearty meal that fills, chawanmushi should be the next thing on your to-make list.
The ramekins are the small bowls you pour the custard into, but any bowl will do of course. You get the best results if it’s a bowl with edges straight down instead of slanted or curved like with some bowls though.
Though it may seem similar to ramen, udon is a very different kind of noodle-based dish. The noodles are generally thicker and different ingredients are used when making it.
One of the few ways that the two dishes are similar is that they both use dashi as the stock.
Bowl meals are a popular dish in Japan, and this is another kind of meal that can be made by using dashi stock. For oyakodon (delicious recipe here!), you take a bunch of ingredients like chicken, scallion, and other vegetables and simmer them in dashi stock. The dashi coated ingredients are then poured over a bowl of rice and then served.
Like the agedashi tofu, this is an incredibly unique way to use the dashi stock in a way other than making a soup.
Nothing beats making your own fresh okonomiyaki because that way, you can put on whatever you like, which is really in the spirit of what it stands for.
The key to making great okonomiyaki is all in the batter. Make sure to whisk it well so that it’s nice and smooth.
When it comes to toppings, feel free to get creative! Whether you like your okonomiyaki with just a simple sauce or loaded with all sorts of toppings, the possibilities are endless.
TenDon (which literally translates to “tempura donburi dish”, or tempura bowl) can be made with a variety of ingredients and it also has a long history in Japan!
Tendon is a traditional dish in Japan that’s commonly made up of a rice bowl (donburi) with tempura layered on top of freshly cooked rice. Enjoy eating one of these bowls while hot and accompanied by miso soup and a salad or pickled ginger.
Another popular type of meal that uses dashi stock, especially during the colder months in Japan, is chicken mizutaki and other similar hot pot recipes. Hot pot recipes are unique because they are usually cooked in a large standing pot right on the dining table itself. You take a bunch of ingredients and cook them in dashi stock.
In the case of chicken mizutaki, you cook chicken, tofu, Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, and leek in several cups of dashi stock. Though these dashi stock-based hot pot recipes can be enjoyed on your own, it is often the kind of thing you would eat with friends and family.
If you’re looking to try a new rice recipe, why not enjoy a light seasonal veggie, chicken, and rice dish?
The idea behind takikomi gohan is to only use seasonal ingredients to create a quick and simple comforting rice dish.
The one thing you shouldn’t get wrong is cooking the ingredients together in layers, which brings out the subtle flavors of the vegetables and liquid seasoning.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own mentsuyu sauce right at home. And it’s so much better than anything you can buy in a store. Here’s how to use it when making any type of hot noodle soup
- First, you have to dilute the tsuyu with some water.
- Then, you must heat up the tsuyu.
- Next, you pour the hot broth/sauce over the noodles.
Gyudon is a Japanese donburi rice bowl with savory dashi sauce, onion, and beef served on a bed of hot steamed rice.
This dish is the beef version of chicken oyakodon and is served hot at restaurants and fast food shops all across Japan. It’s been a popular dish for well over 150 years because it’s such a tasty comfort food.
All the umami flavors come together in this easy Japanese rolled omelette which is perfect for breakfast. The cooked egg combined with dashi stock is the upgrade your omelette needs.
You need to use a rectangular pan for this recipe, or else you can’t create the egg log shape, and it’s hard to make rolled tamagoyaki in a round pan.
A bamboo mat is also required if you want to shape the omelette rolls properly. A bamboo sushi mat is best because it’s the right size and will help the egg keep its shape.
Though it isn’t technically a recipe, a common technique in Japanese cooking is to simmer vegetables and fish when you are cooking them. Cooking food in dashi is a great way to infuse your dish with the savory and delicious umami that dashi is known for. This also includes cooking a block of tofu in dashi.
Dashi stock and sauce
Dashi stock is often used in a lot of sauces. For example, one of the main ingredients in making the sauce for okonomiyaki is dashi. Since dashi is known for being very savory, it makes sense to use it in any sauce that would pair well with a savory dish. It is practically a match made in heaven when used for a sauce!
What is Dashi?
Dashi (出汁 in Kanji and だし Katakana) is a class of soup and cooking stock used in Japanese cuisines.
Dashi is the foundation of miso soup, for clear broth, noodle broth and various kinds of stews that help enhance umami.
Umami is one of the five basic tastes that our taste receptors resonate with instantly.
This makes Dashi a very rare discovery that is also a key component for many kinds of recipes.
Dashi is also important in creating the batter (flour-based paste) of grilled foods such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki.
Dashi also has other names like sea stock or vegetable stock and is actually an all-purpose vegetable-fish broth.
It is the kombu (sea kelp) that is the primary ingredient for Dashi, which has been dried and cut into thin long sheets and is what causes the umami flavors of the miso soup to concentrate.
In order to further enhance the Dashi stock smoky katsuobushi, shavings of dried, smoked, and sometimes fermented skipjack tuna or bonito is added.
Dried mushrooms and sometimes even dried sardines are added to the stock as well which really elevates the Dashi stock to new heights!
If you want to learn more about Japanese cuisine, check out my extensive list of the best cookbooks available
At the heart of Japanese cuisine
As you can see, there are many uses for dashi stock beyond the standard examples of miso soup and ramen. Dashi has been used for a very long time in Japan, so it is no surprise that so many dishes developed around the use of it.
It is a clear demonstration of how incredibly versatile this ingredient is since it can be used in so many different ways and be a critical part of a lot of recipes.
If you are ever looking for a recipe that makes the most out of dashi stock and its rich umami content, then give one of the above items a try.
Read more: what is katsuobushi and how do I use it?
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.