Best Japanese Dashi Stock Substitutes

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The stock known as dashi is an essential ingredient in traditional Japanese cuisine. Check out these ideas for fast and simple dash stock substitutes if you need it for a dish but don’t have any on hand.

Miso soup, noodle soups, and other meals that are based on broth call for the use of dashi stocks. It is used to highlight a savory taste that is referred to as umami. It is possible to use different broths or sauces that contain umami in place of the dashi in these recipes because of the function that dashi plays in those foods.

Continue reading to learn about the many alternatives that may be used in place of Japanese Dashi Stock.

What Exactly Is Dashi Stock?

Kelp, fermented skipjack tuna, or bonito are some of the ingredients in dashi, which is then filtered after being heated to within a few degrees of the boiling point. The inclusion of katsuobushi or kombu results in the characteristic umami flavor being brought out.

Today in Japan, store-bought alternatives are favored for the majority of meals, which means that handmade dashi is becoming less popular.

Substitutes For Dashi Stock

Best Option: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

A scientist discovered how to extract glutamate from the same kind of seaweed that is used to make kombu dashi, which led to the development of monosodium glutamate (MSG).

MSG is readily available for purchase in the majority of supermarkets, making it a convenient alternative. A portion of the dashi’s distinctively meaty taste may be attributed to the presence of glutamate. Therefore, when you add MSG to your meal, you are adding the same fundamental chemical to it.

Popular Option: Mentsuyu

A sauce or stock called mentsuyu is created by combining dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and several other ingredients. In many cases, bonito and kombu are used as these supplementary spices.

Mentsuyu may be used in place of Dashi in recipes that call for soup, which in Asian cuisine most often refers to noodle meals. It is often paired with udon, soba, and somen noodles, and even ramen appears on occasion in these kinds of dishes.

Because it is not a 1:1 replacement, you should avoid using too much of it or run the risk of making the food taste unpleasant. Additionally, it is not recommended that you substitute mentsuyu for dashi while making miso soup.

Easy Option: Soy Sauce

Soybeans, which are the primary ingredient in soy sauce, contain glutamate in their natural state. It is conceivable to use soy sauce in place of dashi due to the widespread use of soy sauce in the cuisines of Asia, particularly Japan.

There are a lot of recipes out there that will urge you to use both soy sauce and dashi; in these kinds of scenarios, it is best to use MSG instead. If you do not have any MSG on hand, you may “double up” on the soy sauce, which simply means that you will use it twice as much as normal.

Final Option: Homemade Substitute

You always have the option of attempting to produce a dashi alternative on your own, in case MSG or soy sauce aren’t cutting it for you.

  1. Rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms
  2. Remove the mushroom debris using a strainer, but save the liquid.
  3. Kombu and bonito flakes should be added to the mixture.
  4. Give a brief stir
  5. To your liking, drizzle over some soy sauce (optional)


What can I use instead of dashi in miso soup?

Vegetable Broth: Dashi, which is Japanese soup stock, is often used in miso soup recipes; however, it might be challenging to get this ingredient. Instead, I make the foundation of my dish using veggie broth. To prepare the green onions, finely slice three green onions. The use of kale in place of kombu is highly recommended (dried kelp).

What can I substitute for Kombu dashi?

It is difficult to find a suitable substitute for kombu since it is a singular component that is necessary for the production of dashi, the traditional stock used in Japanese cooking. You may prepare dashi using quick kombu granules or tea, with shiitake mushrooms or stock, or with any combination of these four ingredients. However, you will need to add a spice such as MSG, soy sauce, or marmite in order to get the umami taste that kombu is known for.

Can you replace dashi with chicken stock?

In place of dashi, chicken broth is one of the most straightforward and time-efficient dashi alternatives, and it works well as a basis for soups. In addition to that, the likelihood of already having it in stock is significantly increased. Make sure that the broth is smoother than it really is however.

Can I use vegetable stock instead of dashi?

It is recommended that you choose a light stock or broth taste, since this will be the flavor that is most similar to dashi. Even while chicken stock won’t have a taste similar to brine, you may still get the umami profile from it. Although making stock from scratch is preferable than purchasing it already produced, a powdered broth may occasionally be used successfully in its place.


Ask any Japanese cook, and they will tell you that none of these alternatives will come close to replicating the experience of eating the genuine thing. Having said that, if you are searching for anything that will serve as a respectable dashi alternative and also help you produce a delicious dinner at home, then any of these selections will be able to assist you in accomplishing both of those goals.