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What is Chuka Dashi? Special Chinese Seasoning Broth [With Recipe]

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  November 1, 2022

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Dashi broth is Japan’s favorite broth, and it’s made with dashi broth powder.

But have you heard of Chuka Dashi?

What is Chuka Dashi? Special Chinese Seasoning Broth [With Recipe]

It’s the Chinese version of Japanese dashi, except it’s not made from kombu and bonito flakes. Instead, it’s made from a combination of dried veggies and ginger and comes in powder form.

Home cooks use the Chuka Dashi as a stock seasoning for all sorts of dishes, from stir fries and soups to braises and stews.

It adds a bold, savory flavor that perfectly complements most Asian-style dishes!

In this guide, I’ll share what Chuka dashi is, how to use it, and why it’s an essential ingredient in every home cook’s pantry.

Plus, I’ll share a recipe for a liquid version of chuka dashi that you can make at home since powdered dashi is hard to make at home.

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What is Chuka Dashi?

Chuka Dashi (中華だし) or Chuka-fu Dashi (中華風だし) is the Chinese version of Dashi stock. It is a seasoning stock in powder form.

Chuka Dashi is made from chicken, pork, onions, dried mushrooms, ginger, and other vegetables that are boiled together to extract their flavors.

The meat adds a savory flavor to the stock.

The broth is then reduced until it turns into a powder, which can be reconstituted with water for use as a seasoning or ingredient in hot pot, soups, stews, and stir-fries.

It is a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes, as it adds a rich umami flavor that complements the savory and salty flavors of other ingredients.

If you enjoy cooking Chinese food, then you may want to try using Chuka Dashi in your recipes.

It can be easily purchased from online retailers or local Asian grocery stores and is a great way to add a quick and easy umami kick to your dishes.

It takes hours to boil a variety of meats, including chicken, fish, and pork, as well as aromatics, to make authentic Chinese stock (湯).

Chuka dashi is a drastic time-saving method for making Chinese stock at home.

It can be dissolved in boiling water to make stock, or you can season stir-fries and salad dressings with it.

What is Chuka Dashi? Special Chinese Seasoning Broth Recipe

Chuka Dashi Recipe (Chinese Seasoning Broth)

Joost Nusselder
If you want to make Chuka dashi at home, you’ll have to make the liquid form. You can’t make the powder at home, but the liquid seasoning is equally delicious.
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Cook Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Chinese

Equipment

  • 1 Sauce pan
  • 1 Blender or food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast or pork
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated and chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 inch peeled ginger thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, combine the meat, onions, rehydrated mushrooms, carrots, ginger, garlic, and vegetable oil.
  • Cook over medium-high heat until the meat and vegetables are softened and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the soy sauce and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Let cool to room temperature before using it as a stock or seasoning.
Keyword Dashi
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How is Chuka dashi made?

Turning liquid stock into powder form requires a factory process that is highly regulated and monitored by the food industry.

The stock ingredients are first boiled together and then filtered to extract their flavors. This broth liquid is then evaporated to reduce it to a concentration.

Finally, the concentrated liquid is passed through an ion exchange system that replaces minerals and salts from the liquid with large quantities of sodium.

This process results in a fine powder with a rich, umami flavor that is used as an essential ingredient in most Chinese dishes.

Whether you’re a professional chef or an amateur cook, Chuka dashi is a great way to add rich, savory flavor to your meals and meals. So why not give it a try today?​ ​​

Chuka dashi is a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking due to its delicious umami flavor.

It’s also a great alternative to Japanese dashi stock, which is made with kombu seaweed and katsuobushi dried fish flakes.

What does Chuka Dashi taste like?

Chuka dashi tastes similar to other stock cubes like Knorr and Maggi, but with a much more complex flavor profile.

It is savory and umami, with hints of garlic and ginger that balance out the sweetness of the soy sauce.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be used to enhance the flavor of soups, stews, stir-fries, and other savory dishes.

How to use Chuka Dashi

Chuka dashi is a versatile ingredient that can be used in any kind of Chinese dish. It has a savory, meaty flavor so it adds richness and depth to soups, stews, and stir-fries.

Here are some simple recipes to get you started:

  • Stir-fried chicken and vegetables: In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry bite-sized pieces of chicken and your favorite vegetables in a bit of vegetable oil. Add a few spoonfuls of Chuka dashi, along with a splash of soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Egg drop soup: To make a simple egg drop soup, heat 1 cup of chicken broth over medium heat. Slowly pour in 1 beaten egg and let the egg cook for about 1 minute, constantly stirring to spread the egg throughout the liquid. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sesame oil to taste.
  • Steamed vegetables: Steam your favorite vegetables over simmering water, then toss with a bit of Chuka dashi and fresh herbs. Serve hot as a simple side dish or light lunch.​ ​​

Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a home cook, Chuka dashi is an essential ingredient in many Chinese recipes.

Can you buy Chuka Dashi online?

Yes, many online retailers carry Chuka Dashi in both liquid and powder form. You can also find it at local Asian grocery stores or specialty food shops.

The Lee Kum Kee Chicken powder is a chicken-flavored dashi-style stock you can try.

So if you’re looking for a convenient way to add rich, umami flavor to your favorite Chinese recipes, be sure to search for it.

Chuka dashi vs Ha-Oh soup base vs dashi

Chuka dashi, Ha-Oh soup base, and dashi are all similar stock bases used in Chinese cooking.

While they all share some common ingredients, such as soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, there are also some key differences.

Ha-Oh soup base is the most concentrated of the three, with a very intense flavor and a darker color.

It is also typically made with dried shrimp instead of chicken or pork, which gives it a seafood flavor that can be overpowering for some dishes.

Dashi is the most traditional of these stock bases, and is made using just a few simple ingredients. It has a light flavor and color, making it the perfect base for clear broths and soups.

In contrast, Chuka dashi is a modern variation on the traditional stock base that uses both dried meat and vegetables for a richer, more complex flavor.

It can be used in virtually any Chinese recipe, from stir-fries to steamed vegetables and everything in between.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a rich, umami flavor to enhance your favorite Chinese dishes or simply trying out new recipes, Chuka dashi is the perfect choice.

With its savory, complex flavor and easy-to-use powder form, it’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in soups, stews, stir-fries, and more.

Find out what the 3 main differences between Japanese food and Chinese food are here

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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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.