Shiitake Kombu Dashi (Japanese Vegan Dashi)

5 from 11 votes
JUMP TO RECIPE & VIDEO

This Shiitake and Kombu Dashi is a plant-based dashi for vegans and vegetarians who want to make Japanese soup stock.  How to make it is super easy. Let’s learn how!

dried shiitake, kombu and water in a bottle for making dashi

Dashi (soup stock) is the key ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It’s used for various dishes such as miso soup, soba noodle soup, udon noodle soup, ramen noodle soup, and simmered dishes.

In general, it’s made from fish such as niboshi (baby anchovy) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes). So, common dashi is not vegan and vegetarian-friendly.

If you are looking for plant-based dashi, this recipe is for you!

You can make dashi from dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu (kelp).

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You are a vegan or vegetarian
  • You are looking for a plant-based dashi recipe
  • You want to know how to make shiitake and kombu dashi

I will also tell you more details about the ingredients, storage, and other useful tips in addition to the instructions. I hope you will learn something new!

📋 Ingredients

Let me explain shiitake and kombu in this section.

dried shiitake and kombu

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

We use both fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms in Japanese cooking.

Fresh shiitake mushrooms contain vitamin D, dietary fiber, and potassium. When dried, the amazing fact is that nutrients increase 30 times more, and umami and aroma increase.

That’s why it’s great for making dashi.

So, these 2 types of dried shiitake mushrooms are available in Japan.

  • Donko shiitake: Thick round shape, and it’s a bit pricy.
  • Koshin shiitake: Thin, flat shape, and it’s reasonable. It’s perfect for everyday cooking.

Donko shiitake extracts more dashi, but both are great for making dashi.

You can find them at an Asian grocery store. If you live in the US, you can find them on Amazon, such as this donko shiitake and this shiitake.

One more thing: if you can find genboku (grown on a tree) dried shiitake at your local store, please try it. The aroma, taste, and texture are better than the ones grown in a house.

Kombu

Since the ocean surrounds us, seaweed is indispensable in Japanese food culture. Kombu is one of the commonly used seaweed, and it’s a good source of dashi.

map of hokkaido showing area of kombu grow

About 90% of Japanese kombu is harvested all over Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture. (I’m from Hokkaido!)

Depending on the location (see the image above), the type of kombu is different. Here are the most popular ones in Japan:

  • Ma Kombu: High-quality and clear soup stock with elegant sweetness. That’s why it’s used in high-end restaurants.
  • Rishiri Kombu: Sweet and salty, but the overall taste is refreshing.
  • Hidaka Kombu: Sweetness and umami are less than others, but the price is reasonable, which is great for everyday cooking.

The most common one is Hidaka kombu, which you can buy at any grocery store.

You can find them at an Asian grocery store. If you live in the US, you can find Hidaka kombu on Amazon.

I use Ma kombu because it’s sweet and flavorful. It might be hard to find it if you don’t live in Japan, but If you happen to find it, please try it!

How to Store Them

dried shiitake and kombu in a plastic container

Both shiitake and kombu are dried food, so keep them in a freezer bag or plastic container (BPA-free) and avoid humidity.

Place it somewhere dark and cool.

I keep them in a plastic container like the image above, as it is easy to take them out.

What does it taste like?

Both shiitake mushrooms and kombu contain umami elements.

Umami is a savory and deep flavor that is an essential taste of Japanese cuisine. It also contains miso and soy sauce.

Shiitake mushrooms and Kombu Dashi have mild umami and aroma.

You might think the taste is weak if you are familiar with dashi powder or other dashi, such as niboshi dashi and awase dashi.

If you are looking for a gentle umami flavor or want to reset your taste buds, this dashi is perfect for you.

🔪Instructions

Instruction is super easy! You can also watch this video.

before and after making shiitake kombu dashi
  1. Put in a jar: Put shiitake and kombu in a glass jar and pour water.
  2. Keep in the fridge: Leave the jar in the fridge for more than 5 hours.
  3. Take out ingredients: When it turns golden brown color, take out the shiitake and kombu.

That’s it! The dashi will be ready the next morning if you prepare it tonight.

The right image above is after 5 hours. You can see the nice golden brown color dashi extracted from the ingredients.

If you want a little more flavor, add a little more kombu and shiitake as you like.

gold brown color shiitake kombu dashi in a bowl

Storage

You can keep it for 3 days in the fridge. If you leave kombu in the jar for a couple of days, it will get slimy, so make sure you take it out after dashi is made.

You can also keep it for one month in the freezer. Transferring it to an ice cube tray and freezing it would be a good idea.

Shiitake and Kombu Leftover

You might want to ask me, what should I do with these shiitake and kombu after making dashi?

Don’t throw them away! You can eat them!

You can use them for:

  • Miso soup: Chop them into small pieces and add to miso soup. Make dashi from shiitake and kombu and use them as the ingredients of the soup. This is the easiest way to use it.
  • Takikomi gohan (seasoned rice): Chop them into small pieces and cook them together with rice.
  • Make furikake: Finely chop with a food processor. Season with soy sauce and mirin and cook in a frying pan. You can mix in steamed rice or stir fry with other vegetables. This is my favorite.

What can I cook with dashi?

dried shiitake, kombu and water in a bottle for making dashi

You can use it for:

  • Simmered dish
  • Soup
  • Rice dish

Here are recipes that you can try:

I use dashi powder or niboshi dashi in these recipes, but you can substitute it with shiitake kombu dashi.

Thanks For Stopping By!

How did you like it?

This shiitake kombu dashi adds a mild umami flavor to your dish. You just put ingredients in a jar and wait. It is so easy to make.

I hope you find this recipe helpful and try some authentic Japanese recipes with it.

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 (soup stock) Recipes

dried shiitake, kombu and water in a bottle for making dashi

Shiitake Kombu Dashi (Japanese Vegan Dashi)

5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 5 minutes
Rest: 5 hours
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 800 ml
Author: Juri Austin
This Shiitake and Kombu Dashi is a plant-based dashi for vegans and vegetarians who want to make Japanese soup stock.  How to make it is super easy. Let's learn how!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Put in a jar: Put shiitake and kombu in a glass jar, and pour water.
  • Keep in the fridge: Leave the jar in the fridge for more than 5 hours.
  • Take out ingredients: When it turns golden brown color, take out the shiitake and kombu, and use the soup as dashi.

Video

Notes

  • Equipment: A glass jar larger than 800ml.
  • Storage: You can keep it for three days in the fridge, one month in the freezer.
  • If you leave kombu in the jar for a couple of days, it will get slimy, so make sure you take it out after dashi is made.
  • You can use shiitake and kombu leftover for Miso soup, Takikomi Gohan (seasoned rice), Furikake, so please don’t throw them away.
  • Japanese measuring cup is 200 ml.

Nutrition

Serving: 800ml | Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1.9g | Sodium: 39.3mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese dashi stock, shiitake kombu dashi, vegan dashi
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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This page is great, love japanese food! I am vegetarian though and i’m going to Japan in April! Any chance we could connect so you can give tips where to eat? thank you!