Dashi (出汁、だし) is a kind of stock or broth mainly used for soup or dishes in Japanese cooking. The most common form of dashi is a simple broth or stock made by kombu (edible kelp) or katsuobushi (flakes of dried skipjack tuna) in boiling water. niboshi (煮干し) is also used, too. It is not always necessary to strain the resulting liquid. Dashi can be a basis for miso soup, Japanese noodle (うどん or そば) soup, and many other Japanese simmering (or boiling) liquids. Fresh dashi made from kelp and katsuobushi is not so popular today in Japan. Some people use instant substitutes to add boiled water.
Other kinds of dashi stock are made by soaking (or putting) kelp, shiitake, or niboshi in cool water for many hours. Or they are made by heating them in water nearly to boiling and then straining the resulting broth. Kelp stock or konbu dashi is made by soaking kelp, or sea tangle, in water. Shiitake dashi stock is made by soaking dried shiitake mushrooms in water. Niboshi dashi stock is made by soaking dried small sardines. Some use niboshi after taking off (or pinching off) their heads and entrails in water, but others use whole niboshi as this way get tasty dashi, too.
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