Substitute for Dashi


Dashi is an ingredient that is used in Japanese cuisine. It is used in making soups and as a flour base for grilled foods. According to the Japanese, dashi is a difficult ingredient to replace. There are ingredients you can use in place of dashi and achieve desired results substitute is better than the other, as you have achieved your satisfaction. Some of the substitutes for dashi include the following.

1. Monosodium Glutamate

Also known as MSG, glutamate is your best option when substituting dashi with another ingredient. This ingredient was invented in the early 20th century. MSG is made from a wide variety of ingredients which also includes soybeans. This still makes it able to provide flavor in dishes. Dashi’s only have a meaty taste because of the presence of glutamate. When you use MSG in your food, you are just adding glutamate to the food.

Consequently, one of the major advantages of using the MSG substitute is that it is easier to find than the other Dashi substitutes. Dashi is made using Kombu, which is not easy to find both in Western and Asian stores. However, MSG is easy to find both in Asian and Western stores.

2. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is another alternative that can be used in place of dashi. It gives an amazing flavor to most Asian dishes. Just overlook the color and use it as your dashi substitute. In addition to that, light soy sauces can turn foods into brown. Most of the time, dashi and soy sauce are used together in preparing Japanese dishes. You can substitute dashi with soy sauce by doubling the quantity of the soy sauce to that of the dashi.

3. Consider making your dashi

Dashi is one of the simplest ingredients to make but also requires little expertise. Making the best dashi from home is possible if you can access all the ingredients and spend considerable time learning how to make the perfect dashi.

4. Chicken Broth

Other Western-style broths, such as chicken broth, are also a good alternative for dashi. However, consider using stock or chicken broth for a lightly flavored broth. This gives you results that are close to that of dashi. Getting a salty flavor from using chicken broth is difficult, but you are assured of a strong umami character to a dish. Making a stock or broth from scratch is the best option, but nothing beats using the powder in making the stock or broth.


Most people prefer the Japanese cuisines because of the tastiness of their foods. This is because Japanese have incorporated the use of dashi in making their meals. The ingredients used in making dashi are not easily found both in the western and the Asian stores. This is why the above substitutes are the perfect choice.


Can I substitute chicken broth for dashi?

While chicken broth can be used as a substitute for dashi in some recipes, it won’t replicate the exact umami flavor of traditional dashi. Dashi is a Japanese stock made from ingredients like bonito flakes and kombu, giving it a unique taste.

What can I use instead of Dashi powder vegan?

You can make a vegetable broth using ingredients like dried mushrooms, kombu seaweed, and other aromatic vegetables for a vegan alternative to dashi powder. This will provide a similar umami flavor to your dishes.

Is dashi similar to miso?

Dashi and miso are essential elements in Japanese cuisine but serve different purposes. Dashi is a broth or stock used as a base for soups, sauces, and other dishes, while miso is a fermented soybean paste used to add flavor to soups and dishes.

What is dashi usually made of?

Traditional dashi is typically made from two main ingredients: bonito flakes (dried and fermented skipjack tuna) and kombu (edible kelp). These ingredients are steeped in water to create a flavorful broth base. Variations of dashi can also include dried shiitake mushrooms or other fish, providing depth and complexity to the flavor.

Mei Lin Zhang

Written by Mei Lin Zhang

I love to writes about stories and cooking. I really enjoys creating new recipes and taking pictures of my food. When I am not writing, you can find me in the kitchen or snapping photos of my tasty creations.

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