6 cups

This quick and easy stock has many uses in Japanese cooking, including dipping sauces, noodle dishes, and, most commonly, as the base for Miso Soup. It calls for just two ingredients -- kombu and bonito flakes -- and water. This recipe appears in our cookbook Martha Stewart's Cooking School.


  • 3 strips (each about 6 inches) kombu, wiped with a dry cloth

  • 6 cups cold water

  • 2 cups bonito flakes (do not pack)


  1. Combine kombu and water in a medium saucepan and bring to just under a boil, then remove from heat. Use tongs to remove and discard the kombu.

  2. Sprinkle the bonito flakes into the pan and let steep until they sink to the bottom, about 3 minutes. Strain broth through a fine sieve before using. Dashi can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

    Marcus Nilsson

Cook's Notes

Kombu (also called kelp) is a type of sun-dried seaweed that has been processed into sheets. It should not be rinsed with water before using or it will lose some of its flavor; instead, lightly wipe it with a dry cloth. Unopened packages will keep indefinitely; after opening, store kombu in a resealable plastic bag in a cool, dry place and use within 6 months.

Bonito flakes are made by boiling, smoking, sun-­drying, and then flaking fresh bonito, a type of small tuna. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot for as long as a year (check the label for a freshness date).

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