A common ingredient in Japanese cuisine is dashi. It’s in a lot of soups and broths and finds its way into more dishes as a broth.
Takoyaki, monjayaki, and other batter-based foods like okonomiyaki for example all use dashi as their base.
Is it safe for babies to eat dashi?
Yes, babies can eat dashi! Babyfood in Japan is often flavored with dashi and dashi is one of the first food that Japanese people will eat. The umami flavor of dashi is suitable and enjoyable for babies, kids, and adults. Dashi is a broth made from dried seaweed or bonito (fish) flakes and can be used similarly to how Americans use chicken broth.
Dashi comes in different varieties such as Kombu dashi that is made from kelp and Katsuo dashi that is made from dried bonito flakes. Iriko dashi is made from anchovies and sardines and has a fishier flavor.
Why is dashi good for babies?
Dashi is a clear light broth and has a lot of flavor without any hard to chew or swallow food chunks. Introduce your baby to new flavors with a dashi broth to get your baby accustomed to the taste. If your baby has dashi early on they will be more likely to enjoy the umami flavor of dashi in soups and stews as they grow up. All things should be eaten in moderation and that rule applies to dashi as well. Listen to your doctor and watch out for food allergies, and consume with caution as you should with any food.
Also read about the other common Japanese ingredient: can babies eat miso paste?