12 Best Dashi Substitutes for Noodles and Soup

Do you want to prepare a tasty bowl of ramen? If that’s the case, what could be better than making some distinctive and tasty dashi for your soup base? Most likely, not many.

Dashi is a flavorful broth that is used as a soup base in many Japanese recipes. It’s famous for its nuanced, umami, slight bitterness, and sea flavor that compliments and enhances the dish’s ingredients.

What’s more aggravating is living in the Western area and having no Asian retailers nearby. Fortunately, there are various options to explore.

  1. Chicken Broth
  2. White Fish
  3. Powdered or Cubed Broth
  4. Shellfish
  5. Shiitake Mushrooms
  6. Mentsuyu Broth
  7. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

If you run out of kombu and bonito flakes, there are dashi replacements you may use. These ingredients may be purchased fresh, dried, bottled, or powdered. A vegan option is also available.

But first, let’s learn more about how they’re manufactured and the health advantages they provide.

12 Best Substitute For Dashi 

Dashi is made by simmering two ingredients: kombu (dry kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes).

It’s often found in noodle meals and sauces including clear soups, udon, soba, hot pots, and numerous ramen recipes. Not to mention its use in other Japanese dishes like as sushi rice cooking water, takoyaki batters, and yakitori glazes.

Not only does it have a distinct flavor, but it also delivers sustenance to aid in tiredness recovery and blood circulation.

The list below conveys the delicious flavor that everyone associates with classic dashi. However, they may not totally replicate the original, nuanced, and delicious broth.

Nonetheless, with slight spice changes, these dashi alternatives will undoubtedly complement your favorite Japanese recipes.

Chicken Broth


Chicken broth is a quick and simple emergency replacement for dashi broth. It may not have the characteristic flavor of the sea, but it may work nicely, particularly with recipes including chicken flesh.

Western chicken broths are often saltier and more luscious. If you want a Japanese-style broth, skim the chicken fat and leave the stock unseasoned and unsalted. This manner, the original chicken flavor is preserved.

Other spices may be added later while the meal is simmering with the liquid.

Furthermore, we do not recommend using beef stock. As you may know, beef stock has a strong flavor and may be seasoned to taste like gravy. It has the potential to overwhelm the meal rather than enhance it.

White Fish

Because bonito flakes, dashis major component, are considered white fish, it makes sense to utilize a comparable product as a dashi substitute. Its savory and earthy flavor makes it a suitable replacement.

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Furthermore, since it has less chromoproteins in the muscles and blood, white fish is less fatty and greasy than red meat.

However, redfish meats such as mackerel and tuna should not be used in dashi soup. They make excellent main meals, but they would overshadow the dish. Instead, white fish such as snapper, catfish, halibut, bass, cod, haddock, and tilefish may be used.

Powdered or Cubed Broth


Try a powdered or cubed broth as a simple go-to item for an umami broth. They are often available in a variety of tastes such as shrimp, pork, chicken, or even veggie broth.

It’s simple to make since you simply need to sprinkle the powder or dilute the cube. They are quite useful and are widely available in retailers.

The western cubed broth is usually saltier than the Japanese version. However, dilute the cubes first and keep an eye on the water concentration.

Take cautious not to add too much water. We don’t want to ruin the natural meaty flavor by adding salt, do we?


If you run out of kombu and bonito flakes, you may use shellfish leftovers as a far cheaper replacement! Cut shrimp and crab shells into tiny pieces, small enough to allow the water soak the tastes out but large enough to sieve easily.

Shellfish need more time to extract their flavor. However, to make a delicious broth, boil the shell scraps for about an hour. If you don’t agitate the shells, the stock will get hazy. Also, after a few minutes, skim the froth.

Aromatics like as onions, herbs, and celery may also be chopped and added to the pot after the froth has subsided. Simmer for 10-20 minutes more. Finally, filter the soup to remove any clear broth.

Shiitake Mushrooms


Substitute shiitake mushrooms and kombu (dried kelp or seaweed) for the bonito flakes. Shiitake mushrooms, which are native to East Asia, are well-known for their health advantages as well as their meaty and delicious flavor. As a result, it becomes a nutritious option for all vegans out there!

Soak the kombu and shiitake in separate pots for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to permeate the water.

The kombu would take on a tea-like flavor. Turn on the heat and let the kombu to boil once it has changed to a slippery texture. Cook for 10 minutes.

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Shiitake mushrooms, on the other hand, do not need heating. Instead, softly crush the mushroom to bring forth its umami taste.

Finally, just blend these two liquids to create a healthy and flavorful replacement for dashi.

Mentsuyu Broth

Mentsuyu is a famous Japanese brand that smells like bonito flakes. What’s more, it already includes the essential dashi ingredients kombu, dried bonito flakes, sake, mirin (rice wine), and soy sauce. These come in glass bottles and may be found at Asian or Japanese shops.

This component is often found in Japanese restaurants as a soup basis for udon, somen, and soba. It also works nicely as a dip for fried items like tempura and cold noodles when diluted.

However, although it is a fantastic alternative for dashi, it should only be used in soy sauce-based foods and not miso. Furthermore, since Mentsuyu is flavorful, you may use less spice.

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)


One of the biggest contributions Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese academic, gave to the food business was arguably the ability to extract and reproduce the umami flavour.

In 1908, he discovered monosodium glutamateas and extracted the savory flavour from kombu.

MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate, is a popular food enhancer not just in Japan but across the globe. It contains enough synthetic amino acid to enhance recipes and increase the salty and savory flavor.

However, if you don’t have much time to prepare a dashi broth, this is a quick and reliable alternative. However, keep in mind that MSG should be used sparingly.

Shiro Dashi

Shiro Dashi is a lighter-colored version of Mentsuyu. Shiro Dashi utilizes light soy sauce, but Mentsuyu has a deeper hue.

Similarly, it has a fragrant, salty, umami taste derived from dried bonito, kombu, mirin, and sugar. It also works well as a foundation soup for udon, veggies, and pasta.

Overall, Shiro Dashi is a good choice if you want a lighter-colored soup.

However, you should not anticipate the traditional dashi to have the same sea flavor. But don’t worry, it works just well with a little seasoning tweaks.



Instead, you go for granules. Hondashi, a sweet and smoky flavoring created mostly from dried bonito powder, is popular in Japan. This granule pack includes glutamic acids as well as monosodium glutamate.

Hondashi, like the commercial goods listed above, may lack traditional dashis distinctive taste. It does, however, have a powerful umami flavor that pairs nicely with stock dishes such as miso soups, noodle soups, and hot pots.

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You can easily store it on your shelves since it is granulated.

Salted Kelp (Shio Kombu)

So you ran out of kombu and instead discovered Shio kombu (salted kelp) shreds in your cupboard. Can you put it to use? You certainly can.

Shio kombu is not only less expensive and smaller in size, but it also has the umami flavor that dashi requires. Shio kombu, on the other hand, is substantially saltier than regular kombu. You must keep an eye on the flavor and prevent over-seasoning the soup.

Soy Sauce


Oh, absolutely. Soy sauce. When all other items have gone out, your wonderful house still has soy sauce to make up the difference. However, although it is a simple alternative, we know that a dash of it cannot perfectly mimic the classic dashi flavor.

This basic sauce, however, may compensate for the umami flavor with extra herbs and veggies such as garlic and onions. You also have to disregard its dark hue.

Anchovies Stock

Korean anchovies stock is saltier and fishier than its Japanese equivalent, dashi. But you can’t deny that its clean and mild savory flavor found its way into classic Korean stews.

Anchovies may be hard to get outside of Korea, so make sure they’re of high quality. To assure quality, look for dried anchovies with blue silver skin and clean fish skin.

Soak the anchovies and kombu in water for at least 20 minutes before making the stock. Next, let them to simmer rather than boil, since this may result in an unpleasant flavor and slimy soup. Finally, strain the broth and set it aside to chill.

Dashi Substitute Related FAQs

How long does dashi last?

Dashi stock may be refrigerated for up to 3-7 days, depending on the components. To extend the life of your dashi, put it in zip-lock bags and freeze it. This manner, it may last for 1-3 months while retaining its flavor. When you’re ready to utilize it, defrost it.

What color should dashi be?

Dashi made with kombu and bonito flakes should be light brown in hue. It should not be thick and foggy, but rather thin and transparent.

How do you make dashi?

Prepare a kettle of water and boil a kombu piece for around 10 minutes. To prevent a slimy and hazy soup, do not overcook it.

Remove the kombu after cooking and let the broth to cool before adding the bonito flakes. Continue to simmer the soup for another 10 minutes. Finally, strain the ingredients to get a clear, light brown broth.


What can I use instead of dashi?

If you’re wanting Japanese cuisine, don’t panic; these six dashi substitutes will still satisfy your appetite.
Sauce de Soja. Soy sauce is a fantastic alternative for dashi due to its rich taste.
Stock up on shellfish.
Stock of white fish.
Stock of dried Shiitake mushrooms.
Stock made from chicken.

What is a substitute for dashi soup stock?

Chicken broth is one of the simplest and quickest dashi alternatives that may undoubtedly serve as the foundation of your soup. Furthermore, the likelihood of having it in stock is substantially higher. Just make sure the broth is a bit more refined than it is.

What can I use instead of dashi for miso soup?

Vegetable Broth: Dashi (Japanese soup stock) is often used in miso soup recipes, although it might be difficult to get. Instead, I start with veggie broth. Green Onions: Use 3 finely sliced green onions.

What is a vegetarian substitute for dashi?

Some examples are apples, peas, miso, soy sauce, walnuts, Marmite (and related goods), and Kombu seaweed. Nucleotides are thought to have synergistic umami. In other words, they amplify and increase the umami flavor found in glutamate-rich basic umami meals.

Can you make ramen without dashi?

If you don’t have dashi stock components, drain the chicken through a sieve lined with kitchen paper towels. This is already tasty chicken broth that can be used to make ramen noodle soup. *10 Do not throw away the chicken or the shiitake mushrooms. Remove the flesh off the bone and use it in dishes like fried rice or soup.

What are the 4 types of dashi?

Dashi Classic Comes in Six Varieties Kombu and Katsuo Dashi (Awase Dashi)
Dashi Kombu.
Dashi, Katsuo.
Shiitake Dashi, Iriko Dashi (Niboshi Dashi).
Dashi (Shiitake Kombu Dashi) for Vegans

What are the three types of dashi?

Vegan), Shiitake Dashi, and Iriko Dashi. Please read on to discover more about each dashi.Dashi comes in four varieties: Awase Dashi (the most fundamental), Kombu Dashi (Vegetarian).

What are the two main ingredients of dashi?

Dashi is most usually made with kombu (kelp seaweed) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), although it may also be made with shiitake mushrooms and niboshi (small dried fish). Dashi manufacturing has developed throughout time.

Is ramen broth the same as dashi?

The broth, or dashi, is the foundation of every ramen. Dashi is a clear stock produced from kombu, Japanese sea kelp, and katsoubushi or bonito, dried fish.

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