Kombu Dashi (Japanese Vegan Stock)

Making Japanese Kombu Dashi is a breeze! This plant-based broth lets you enjoy the unique, aromatic flavor without much effort. Learn how to make it and give your dishes that extra umami kick!

kombu dashi in a glass jar.

Make any meal more delicious with kombu dashi! This traditional Japanese stock will give you an umami flavor that’ll brighten your dishes.

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese cuisine.
  • You are looking for vegan stock.
  • You want to know how to make kombu dashi.

Let me walk you through the ingredients and the instructions. If you want to check the recipe, jump to the recipe. Let’s get started!

About This Recipe

  • Japanese kombu dashi recipe
  • Vegan stock
  • Easy to make it
  • It’s great for noodle soups

What is kombu dashi?

kombu dashi

Seaweed is indispensable in Japanese food culture since the ocean surrounds the Japanese islands. Kombu (or kelp in English) is one of the commonly used seaweed, and it’s an essential ingredient for dashi.

Kombu dashi is a broth made of kombu and water. It’s a light golden color soup that enhances any traditional Japanese dishes. You can make it with easy 3 steps – soaking the kombu, boiling it, and taking it out.

What does it taste like?

Kombu dashi has an umami flavor with an inviting aroma and enhances the taste of various dishes. Its flavor varies based on which type of kombu you use; learn more in the section “The Type of Kombu.”

By the way, Japanese dishes’ unique, savory taste is all thanks to umami. Umami is the fifth taste found in many traditional ingredients (such as soy sauce and miso paste), which brings an extra depth of flavor.

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

dried kombu on a plate.
  • Kombu (Dried Kelp)
  • Water

Hokkaido is renowned for its kombu seaweed – 90% of Japan’s supply comes from this northern prefecture. Each region features its unique taste. Let’s find out more below!

Type of Kombu

dried kombu

Here is the variety of kombu, each named after the region in which it was harvested.

  • Ma Kombu – High-quality and clear soup stock with elegant sweetness. Often used in high-end restaurants.
  • Rishiri Kombu – Sweet and salty, but the overall taste is refreshing.
  • Rausu Kombu – Rich umami and deep flavor.
  • Hidaka Kombu – Sweetness and umami are less than others.

Hidaka kombu is a common and affordable seaweed for everyday cooking. It’s widely available in grocery stores across Japan. However, my favorite is Ma kombu. It may cost a bit more, but I love the perfect balance of aroma and tasty flavor.

Explore the different kombu and find the one that suits your dishes!

Where to buy

If you can’t find it at your local store, try to find it at Japanese grocery stores (Mitsuwa marketplaceMaruka), Asian grocery stores, or online stores (Instacart, Walmart, Amazon).

🔪Instructions

Let me show you how to make it. Click here to watch the recipe video.

How to make kombu dashi step by step.
  1. Soak kombu for 30 minutes or more.
  2. Simmer over medium heat.
  3. Take out the kombu before reaching a boiling point (when you see small bubbles).
  4. Transfer to a glass jar for storing if you don’t use it right away.
kombu dashi in a glass jar.

That’s it! Super easy to make it!

Store in a glass jar or airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. It will be good for 5 days.

Helpful tips

  • Simply soaking kombu brings out its naturally tasty umami flavor more than not soaking it.
  • Don’t wash the kombu before using it. The white powder on the surface is an umami ingredient. If you wash it away, you will miss out on its deliciousness.
  • Avoid boiling the kombu for too long because the broth will become sticky and lose its taste.
  • How much kombu do you use for dashi? The ratio is 1 to 2% kombu to water. If you make 100g (100ml) of kombu dashi, use 1 to 2g of kombu. If you make 1000g (1L) of kombu dashi, use 10 to 20g of kombu.
  • Don’t waste the leftover kombu. I’ll show you a tasty way to use it all up.

Ways to use this kombu dashi

a bowl of kake udon noodle.

This simple dashi broth can be used for noodle soups, simmered dished or seasoned rice. Here are recipes that you can try:

I use different types of dashi in these recipes, but you can easily substitute them with kombu dashi.

What to do with the leftover kombu

used kombu on a plate.

Don’t let your leftover kombu go to waste! Transform them into delicious side dishes or onigiri fillings with these tasty recipes.

  • Onigiri fillings – Thinly slice the kombu. Add kombu, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a pan and stir-fry until combined. Add toasted sesame seeds as you like.
  • Furikake: Finely chop the kombu with a knife or food processor. Add kombu, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a pan and stir-fry until dry. Mix it in steamed rice or stir-fry it with other vegetables.

Kombu dashi powder

kombu dashi powder.

If you want something quick and easy, this instant kombu dashi powder helps you a lot. All you need is to dissolve it in hot water, and you’ll have the umami-packed Japanese stock.

You can find it at Japanese grocery stores (Mitsuwa marketplaceMaruka), Asian grocery stores, or online stores (here and here).

Kombu Dashi substitute

3 types of Japanese dashi stock.

Looking for an alternative to kombu dashi? Here are some options for you.

Other dashi recipes:

  • Awase dashi – is made from katuobushi (bonito flakes) and kombu, which is the basic dashi in Japanese cuisine. It adds a rich umami flavor to any dish.
  • Niboshi dashi – is made from niboshi (baby anchovy). This dashi stock has a deep flavor and is my favorite for miso soup.
  • Shiitake and kombu dashi – It’s a vegan dashi made from dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu. This stock has a subtle flavor compared to the other two.

FAQ

Do you wash the kombu before using it?

Don’t wash it! The white powder on the surface is an umami ingredient. If you wash it away, you will miss out on its deliciousness.

How much kombu do you use for dashi?

The ratio is 1 to 2% kombu to water. If you make 100g (100ml) of kombu dashi, use 1 to 2g of kombu. If you make 1000g (1L) of kombu dashi, use 10 to 20g of kombu.

Can you eat kombu after making dashi?

Yes, you can, so don’t waste any leftover kombu! Transform them into tasty side dishes, furikake, and onigiri fillings. See the recipes above.

Thanks For Stopping By

kombu dashi in a glass cup.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ . If you’ve tried this recipe(or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.

More Dashi Recipes You Might Like

kombu dashi in a glass jar.

Kombu Dashi (Japanese Vegan Stock)

5 from 3 votes
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Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Juri Austin
Making Japanese Kombu Dashi is a breeze! This plant-based broth lets you enjoy the unique, aromatic flavor without much effort. Learn how to make it and give your dishes that extra umami kick!

Equipment

  • 1 Medium saucepan 18 cm/7 inches
  • 1 Glass jar or airtight container

Ingredients

  • 10 g Kombu, kelp
  • 1 L Water

Instructions

  • Add water and kombu to a medium saucepan and soak for 30 minutes or more.
  • Simmer the kombu over medium heat.
  • Take out the kombu right before reaching a boiling point.
  • Use the dashi immediately, or transfer it to a glass jar for storage.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Keep in a glass jar or airtight container and store in the fridge for 5 days or the freezer for one month.
  • Don’t wash the kombu before using it. The white powder on the surface is an umami ingredient. If you wash it away, you will miss out on its deliciousness.
  • Avoid boiling the kombu for too long because the broth will become sticky and lose its taste.
  • Don’t waste any leftover kombu! Transform them into delicious side dishes, furikake, and onigiri fillings. See the recipes above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 0.04g | Fat: 0.01g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to make dashi stock, kombu dashi
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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