9 Easily Available Dashi Substitutes & How to use

Do you want to make Miso soup or famous Japanese grill food like takoyaki but miss out due to Dashi Stock?- No worry, I bring ten decent Dashi Substitutes which provide you same umami flavor in your recipe.

Vegans can not consume Dashi. I also have an excellent solution for that (Dried Shiitake Mushrooms); I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but do you know how to put it into action?

So keep scrolling up to the end; you get all your answer to substitute for Dashi and its different Alternatives like Kelp.

What are Dashi stock and Mirin? What is Dashi made out of?

Dashi is a Japanese stock usually made with kelp (konbu), dried fish (sardines, mackerel, or bonito), and dried shiitake mushrooms – ingredients that are most commonly found on the coast of Japan. 

However, Dashi is not necessarily very Japanese. The stock is defined as a richly flavored broth made by simmering vegetables, meat, and fish in water in the Western world.

Mirin is a sweet cooking rice wine. It’s also widely used in Japanese cuisine, alternatively Korean, Chinese, and other South-Eastern Asian countries. If you want to know some ideal mirin substitute feel free to check.

What does Dashi taste like?

Dashi is made with kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), two distinct flavors. 

Dashi alone tastes VERY strongly of kombu, which is a strong, gutsy ocean flavor that’s hard to describe unless you’ve had it. 

On the other hand, katsuobushi tastes very strongly of bonito or skipjack tuna, a richer meatier fish. It’s also got a kind of smoky taste, but it doesn’t taste like meat at all.

Is Dashi the same as miso?

No, they are entirely different! The primary difference between Dashi and miso is that Dashi involves bonito flakes or kombu primarily, while miso involves soybeans. On the other hand, you can make dashi-like soup stock with wakame seaweed and shitake mushrooms to substitute kombu.

Whereas miso is a condiment made from fermented soybean. It is used to season dishes.

Is Dashi just broth?

Dashi is a kind of broth that is made from kelp and fish. However, there are many different types of Dashi, and each one has its own unique flavor profile.

Dashi Substitutes 

1. CHICKEN BROTH – Easy Substitute for Dashi

Dashi is a type of broth made with seaweed and dried fish. Chicken broth can be used as a substitute for Dashi in many recipes. 

chicken broth is a easiest substitute for dashi

One of the easiest and fastest ways to replace Dashi is with chicken broth. Chicken stock lacks the brine-like flavor, but it still has an umami taste.

Instead of hondashi, most chicken stock powders have a higher salt content. As a result, you should taste it carefully before putting too much of it in the dish. Just be sure to put a few extra herbs to make it more like traditional Dashi.

If you don’t have time to make Dashi at home, the chicken stock powder is one of the most fantastic alternatives. Use chicken stock when making katsu don, gyudon, soups, and broths. You may simply replace it with an equal portion of Dashi stock.


Mushrooms are a fantastic substitute for any umami flavor, such as Dashi or beef. They are also an excellent option for vegans and vegetarians.

Mushrooms are a fantastic substitute for any umami flavor, such as Dashi or beef.

In fact, many Japanese experts use the shiitake to produce Dashi occasionally. 

To prepare the broth, you’ll need a soaking liquid, or you can just toss them into a savory meal. This will aid in creating a more unique umami tone. It’s likely not suited for creating miso soup because it smells strongly like shiitake mushrooms. 

To acquire the increased umami flavor, use the liquid from the soaked shiitake mushrooms as a dashi alternative. 

The best part about mushroom stock is that you can reuse the mushrooms and kombu and store them in a plastic container. Find more alternatives for mushroom stock concentrate.

3. WHITEFISH- Decent Alternative for Dashi

Whitefish is another best alternative for Dashi. Whitefish has a meaty and earthy taste like Dashi. They are delicious while used in the recipes. 

Whitefish is another best alternative for Dashi.

Whitefish can be used in various unique recipes, one of which is the whitefish cake. Catfish, tilefish, halibut, bass, cod, haddock, and snapper are examples of white flesh fish.

While substitute whitefish instead of dashi stock, use mild umami flavor and always avoid cod and mackerel because they can overpower your recipe.

4. KOMBUSimialar alternate for Dashi

Kombu or kelp is edible seaweed. Dashi is made with smoked and flaked bonito flakes, edible kelp or kombu, and water. 

Other seasonings, such as Mentsuyu and Shiro-dashi, are similar to Kombu-Tsuyu. This is the most acceptable option for kombu fans.

you can use kombu in your recipes instead of dashi.

Fully packed fried seaweed can be used to mimic the leafy texture of kombu. It’s also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

Kombu dashi is a basic stock produced from kombu (dried kelp) that has a distinct flavor and is excellent for simmering foods in Japanese and Korean cuisine.

You can buy readymade kelp or make it at your home by using these steps. Mix the kombu and the water in a mixing bowl. 

Allow 30 minutes for the mixture to soak. It should not be heated. To see if the leaves are slippery, use a spoon to touch them.

Check more- Best Kombu substitutes

5. VEGETABLE BROTH- Vegan Substitute for Dashi

Vegetable broth is another excellent Dashi substitute for vegans and vegetarians. Vegetable broth is also a readily available alternative. 

Vegetable broth is another excellent Dashi substitute for vegans and vegetarians.

Although the vegetable broth contains too much salt, be careful of that.

6. MENTSUYU – Perfect Replacement for Dashi

If you’re searching for an alternative that has a touch of dashi flavor, then Mentsuyu is the best option for you. Because it includes Dashi, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and other ingredients.

Sometimes Kombu and Dried bonito shavings are used as the major ingredients in Mentsuyu dashi (kelp). 

Mentsuyu is a typical foundation seasoning for most Japanese noodle soups, including soba, udon, and somen. Some individuals even use it in ramen noodles. 

Because of the brown soy sauce present in Mentsuyu, it will be a little darker than typical Dashi; thus, keep in mind that the color of your meal may vary. It’s a great soup to use as a base for grilled chicken with miso sauce.

7. MISO 

Miso soup or miso paste is another suitable replacement for Dashi in many Japanese cuisines. It is fermented soybean paste used for seasoning dishes like noodles, soups, ramen, onigiri, etc. Try 17 best miso paste substitutes.


Hondashi is nothing but the dashi granules, readily available and easy to use to alternate Dashi. Hondashi is often used as a dashi powder substitute in various dishes.

Hondashi has a similar flavor to Dashi. So don’t need to worry about taste.


Although using a handful of fresh bonito shavings to produce Japanese dashi soup stock is preferable. 1-3 teaspoons of dried bonito shavings can be sprinkled straight on the dishes.

BONITO FLAKES is another best alternative for Dashi.

According to what you’re preparing or your tastes, dried bonito shreds may need the addition of other items, but it’s a suitable replacement. Bonito shavings are used in Japanese-style stews, miso soup, salads, and cold tofu, among other dishes.

More Alternatives- Clam Juice Substitutes

What can I use instead of Dashi in miso soup?

Dashi is a Japanese soup stock used in miso soup. Apart from being a flavor enhancer, it is an excellent source of minerals and amino acids. 

Since Dashi takes a long time to make, some people choose to use instant Powder dashi to make miso soup without dashi, which is less nutritious. 

However, you can use other ingredients to make your own Dashi. Here are some ingredients that are great alternatives for Dashi.

Equal parts of sea kelp granules smoked bonito powder, and dried shiitake mushrooms make great miso soup without dashi. Use about one tablespoon each for every cup of water.

Another great option is using salt instead of seaweed and kelp granules.

You can also use miso paste instead of bonito soup powder. To do this, mix two tablespoons of white or red miso paste with a tablespoon of dried wakame seaweed and a teaspoon of dried shiitake mushrooms. 

Bring two cups of water to a boil and add this mixture. Once the soup is boiling, you can add mushrooms and wakame seaweed if desired.

To use if you are vegetarian or vegan, replace the bonito powder with 1 tablespoon of dried shiitake mushrooms. Boil all these ingredients in two cups of water.

There are other ingredients that you can use to make Dashi. Attempt these and let us know how it went in the comments section below.

How to Make Dashi Substitute

Dashi is a very important ingredient in Japanese cooking. Its rich flavor brings out the best in a lot of dishes. 

Dashi is usually made from kombu, dried bonitos, and dried sardines. 

However, there are vegetarian alternatives. One of the best substitutes is kombu dashi. Kombu dashi can be found at Japanese groceries or even some organic food stores.

Another great substitute is a combination of dried shiitake mushrooms. To make it from scratch, you need dried shiitake mushrooms.

Soak 1 cup of dried mushrooms in warm water for at least 30 minutes.

When the shiitakes are soft, lift them out of the soaking water with your fingers and save the water.

Remove all the black parts of the shiitake and cut them into smaller pieces; place back in the water to soak some more (if you want a stronger flavor.)

Grind the mushrooms, soak water in a food processor or mortar, and pestle for a stronger flavor.

You can use this Dashi in miso soups or anywhere you would like a fish-flavored broth.

What is dashi powder?

Dashi powder, also known as instant dashi, is a concentrated mixture of dried fish and kombu. It’s the Japanese version of Italian fish stock or French fish essence that takes your cooking to a deeper level.

And, the most reasonable part is you can make dashi powder at home! It’s more affordable than buying it at the store.

You can choose what kind of fish to use for your dashi powder.

You can even make vegetarian Dashi! In fact, you can choose to omit the fish together for a vegetarian dashi base.

The end result is a much richer and fuller-bodied stock that you can’t achieve with the store-bought powder!

Dashi powder substitutes

Many people use instant powder, which is called Dashi Powder or dashi granules. Instant Dashi is basically manufactured kombu & bonito extract dissolved in concentrated soy sauce. 

Dashi Powder is delicious and very flavorful, but if you want to avoid using processed foods, miso makes a good substitute for instant dashi powder because it has similar umami flavors. 

1). One possible dashi powder substitute is a mix of equal parts soy sauce and sake. 

2). Another is to use 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of instant dashi granules.

There are a few different dashi powders on the market. Still, if you can’t find dashi powder, you can easily make a substitute at home. 

3). Just dissolve 1 teaspoon of kelp granules in 1 cup of hot water, and you’re good to go!

Dashida vs Dashi

Dashida is a Korean seasoning made from anchovies, beef base with veggies, and spices. At the same time, Dashi is a Japanese broth or soup stock made from kombu (seaweed) and katsuobushi (smoked, dried, and shaved bonito). 

They both contain umami and are used in many Japanese dishes and Korean dishes, but that’s where the similarities end. There is a simple explanation why they’re spelled so similarly, so do not be confused!

Dashi is a basic stock widely used in Japanese cooking. It’s made by heating water with kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi. The solids are removed before use, so the resulting broth is very light. 

Dashi forms the base of miso soup and many simmered dishes and is used to poach fish and vegetables. The broth is also used as a savory soup base and drinking soup. 

As Dashi is the basis for many Japanese dishes, you can find instant dashi granules and dashi powder in stores.

Dashida is Korean instant beef stock. Which is ready-made and available in the market. One spoon is enough to bring the full flavor.

Is dashi same as umami?

Yes, when it comes to flavor, umami and Dashi are the same. Umami is a basic taste, much like salty or sweet. It’s a savory sensation that comes from protein-rich foods such as meat dishes and vegetables fermented with monosodium glutamate (MSG). 

Dashi is made from kombu seaweed and katsuobushi fish flakes. Both deliver a generous amount of glutamate, which is an amino acid responsible for umami taste. 

L-glutamate occurs naturally in many foods (including tomatoes, parmesan cheese, seafood, meat, and soy sauce). Still, Dashi provides the most significant punch since it’s concentrated in two power-packed ingredients.

Check More- Best substitute for Fish-sauce @ gluten-free, vegan

Best Dashi Broth Recipe

Dashi is a Japanese fish broth that forms the base of many traditional Japanese dishes. It is made by simmering dried kelp (konbu), dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi), and sometimes shiitake mushrooms in water. The resulting broth is rich and savory, with a deep umami flavor.

This recipe makes a basic dashi broth that can be used in many different dishes. For a more intense flavor, you can add a piece of dried konbu to the pot when making the broth. This will give the broth a stronger seaweed flavor.


-4 cups water

-1/2 cup dried bonito flakes

-1 piece dried kelp (optional)


1. Place the water, bonito flakes, and kelp in a large pot.

2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

3. Let the broth simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

4. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or container.

5. Use the dashi broth immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Q1. Can fish sauce substitute Dashi?

No, fish sauce cannot substitute Dashi. However, you can have an umami-rich dish or broth by using both.

Q2. Is Dashi just MSG?

No, MSG is a different ingredient. Dashi is a broth made from kombu (seaweed) and katsuobushi (dried, smoked skipjack tuna). 

It’s the main ingredient in Japanese ramen. It is also used in many Japanese foods, such as gyoza, soba noodles, and teriyaki sauce.

MSG is a manufactured flavor enhancer mostly associated with Chinese food but is also found in many processed foods.

Q3. Is Dashi the same as Hondashi?

There is some confusion over the two terms, but they are interchangeable. 

Dashi is a Japanese soup stock made from fish or kelp. At the same time, Hondashi is a powdered Japanese soup stock that contains dried bonito flakes and other seasonings.

Q4. Can I substitute mirin for Dashi?

NO, Mirin is sweet sake used in cooking. You can add it to any dish that needs a hint of sweetness, such as teriyaki sauce.
In the past, mirin was made from glutinous rice or malted rice, but nowadays, it’s mostly made from table sugar. It has a subtle sweetness and mild flavor that enhances the flavor of other ingredients.

Dashi has a different flavor.

Q6. What do you use Dashi for?

Dashi is used in many Japanese dishes, such as miso soup, ramen, udon, grill foods, etc.

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