Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

What is Dashi?

A revolution in health benefits

Dashi is a traditional Japanese stock with many health benefits which is used to form the base of many japanese dishes, especially soups and nimono. There are various types of dashi that are used with various health benefits and each one suits different styles of foods and tastes such as niboshi (made from sardines), shiitake (made from dried shiitake mushrooms), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) to name but a few. These stocks have many health benefits and are delicious and an essential part of the Japanese diet, theyfre not too difficult to make on your own and can also be easily purchased from shops selling Japanese foods.


Japanese dashi is made by using a combination of kelp (rich in glutamic acid), dried bonito flakes (rich in inosinic acid) and shiitake mushroom (rich in guanylate) so there are many health benefits. The basic method behind making dashi is boiling all of these or soak in water for a long period of time to extract the health benefits.


The main type of dashi loved for its health benefits is the one that uses dried bonito flakes as its base. Of course, other ingredients such as chicken is used commonly too with its own health benefits. The traditional Japanese buddhist food known as gshojin ryorih in Japanese uses ingredients such as kelp, shiitake mushrooms, soybeans, tofu and sprouts and is known for itfs balanced and life giving properties as well as health benefits. This is the same as vegan food in western cuisine as it only uses products made from vegetables. This dashi is used for noodles, nimono and nabe to give them great taste and numerous health benefits.


In recent years, Japanese dashi has become much more popular because of its excellent taste and health benefits that are widely discussed. From cooks at home to highly regarded chefs, people have started using dashi more and more because of its incredible health benefits.
Japanese often refer to dashi as gichiban dashih or gniban dashih. Ichiban dashi is the base stock that is made first, from this stock we can then in turn make niban dashi. Ichiban dashi is reknown for its incredible fragrance and health benefits and niban dashi for its intense and delicious flavours and health benefits. both have excellent health benefits.


There are five different types of dashi that can be made, each with its own health benefits. They are, bonito dashi (katsuo dashi), kelp dashi (kombu dashi), bonito-kelp dashi (katsuo-kombu dashi), sardine dashi (niboshi) and dried shiitake mushrooms dashi (shiitake dashi). They are all great tasting, have many health benefits and can be used in most dishes easily. Each dashi is used depending on what food they will be combined with and the health benefits desired.


Kelp dashi - Kelp has been an essential health benefit providing ingredient in the Japanese diet for centuries. It contains a wealth of health benefits such as minerals and dietary fibre, about six times the calcium levels found in milk and five times the dietary fibre found in soybeans. Because of these numerous health benefits and because its low in calories, it has become increasingly popular in the western diet over the last 50 years. Kombu is truly a fantastic food with incredible health benefits as its high concentrations of calcium and dietary fibre can relieve constipation, lower blood pressure promote the growth of bones, lower cholesterol levels and stimulate the brain . All of this make kelp a must for health benefits.


Bonito dashi - Bonito fish are made up of 25% protein, they are extremely rich in vitamin B12, niacin, iron and taurine giving them many essential health benefits, the highest concentrations of the parts containing the most health benefits can be found on the part of the meat that is near the spine of the fish, this part is usually a deep red colour. Because bonito is rich in inosine acid due to its large amounts of protein, it has a particularly strong and delicious savoury flavour. Just like with the other ingredients in dashi, there are substantial health benefits. Bonito dashi helps to prevent hypertension, relaxes the eyes, strengthens liver function, prevents arteriosclerosis and can help with fatigue because of its health benefits. it is said in Japan that eating bonito and bonito dashi regularly will allow for a long and healthy life because of its health benefits.


Shiitake dashi - Shiitake mushrooms are reknown for their health benefits and their ability to boost our immune systems and this has been widely published in Asian text for many years. Shiitake mushrooms for shiitake dashi is bought in its dried form because of a curious and positive affect this process has giving it more health benefits. Once dried in the sun, the levels of vitamin D in the mushrooms increases by 10 times that of fresh shiitake mushrooms giving it a fantastic health benefit. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for teeth and bones and helps in the development of the cranial nerve. This is why shiitake is such a useful dashi ingredient and from a health benefit perspective, complements other typical dashi ingredients so well.


Anchovy dashi - Anchovyfs great health benefit is their incredibly high levels of calcium. They are so rich in calcium in fact that there is 22 times more calcium in anchovies than milk. This health benefit prevents osteomalacia and osteoporosis by strengthening the bones. They are also rich in iron, which is very effective against anemia. They are also rich in other health benefits such as vitamins and taurine making them a very good way to strengthen the liver and assist in fatigue reduction.


Dashi is one of the easiest stocks to make in the world and has so many health benefits, it can be made in under 30 minutes and only uses a few base ingredients.
First of all, we soak a piece of kombu (kelp) in a pot of water, allowing the flavour from the kelp to mix in with the water. Following this, you heat the water with the kombu on the stove just until it starts to boil, then we take it off the heat, add in our bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and allow it to sit for a few more minutes which allows the water to become more kelp flavoured. Next, we strain the stock through a strainer such as a coffee strainer into a container and the liquid in the container is your stock! This stock is known as ichiban dashi.


Niban dashi is made using this original result. To make it we put the leftover kelp and bonito flakes back in the pot, add more water and and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, strain the stock through a strainer and wefre done. As this is essentially another round of flavouring the water, niban dashi has a rich and intense flavour. Although both types differ in fragrance and taste. they both have excellent health benefits.


All types of dashi are rich in the nutrients from the base ingredients theyfve been made from so they are full of numerous health benefits. They are low in calories, high in dietary fibre, essential vitamins and minerals allowing for numerous health benefits and on top of all that, delicious meaning you can feel happy eating them on a number of levels.