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Vegan Dashi (Shiitake Kombu Dashi) 精進だし • Just One Cookbook

Vegan Dashi Ingredients

This Vegan Dashi, or Shiitake Kombu Dashi, is a plant-based Japanese soup stock made with dried shiitake mushrooms and dried kelp. While this umami-rich stock is perfect for vegans and vegetarians, it’s a versatile stock that anyone can enjoy. It’s very easy to make and you can use it in all kinds of Japanese recipes, from miso soup to simmered kabocha squash.

Glass pitchers containing vegan dashi (shiitake kombu dashi).

The standard dashi, or Japanese soup stock, includes katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) or iriko/niboshi (anchovy). Therefore, you may have heard that “dashi is not vegan/vegetarian-friendly.” Well, that’s not entirely true, and we do use plant-based kombu dashi or shiitake dashi for many recipes.

Today, I want to share this umami-rich Vegan Dashi (精進だし) made with both dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu.

Glass pitchers containing vegan dashi (shiitake kombu dashi).

What is Vegan Dashi?

Called Shojin Dashi (精進だし, 精進出汁), this plant-based Japanese soup stock is made with umami-rich kombu (edible dried kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms.

This recipe is for you if…

  • You are a vegan/vegetarian.
  • You want to make authentic Japanese food.
  • You’re allergic to fish or don’t like the fishy taste.
  • You are looking for a plant-based dashi recipe.

You can still use kombu dashi for vegan recipes, but adding dried shiitake mushrooms yield an extra layer of umami and deep flavors.

What Are Kombu and Dried Shiitake Mushrooms?

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms and Kombu

If you have never used kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms before, these ingredients might look intimidating. But don’t be! They are very simple; you just have to slowly rehydrate them to extract the flavors.

If you have some time now, you can follow the links below and read more about the ingredients, health benefits, storage, and more.

Where to Buy

You can buy kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms in Japanese and Asian grocery stores. Amazon also sells them.

How to Store

I often get asked this question. I store my dried ingredients like kombu, katsuobushi, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried anchovies, wakame seaweed (wakame), and all kinds of flours in these OXO airtight containers (I use 0.6QT / 1.1QT / 2.8 QT / 4.4 QT containers).

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms and Kombu
2.8QT OXO Good Grips POP Containers

The best part about making Japanese soup stock is that the ingredients are always ready in the pantry and you just need 30 minutes to make the stock.

Glass pitchers containing vegan dashi (shiitake kombu dashi).

How to Make Vegan Dashi

Ingredients You’ll Need

Overview: Cooking Steps

  1. Soak the kombu seaweed and dried shiitake mushrooms in water for at least 30 minutes, preferably 6 hours. This is cold brew vegan dashi.
  2. Cook the cold brew vegan dashi in a pot until almost simmering. Using a fine-mesh skimmer, skim the foam on the cold brew dashi.
  3. Strain the vegan dashi, and it’s ready to use.

💡 Cooking Tip: Save the spent kombu and shiitake mushrooms in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to a month. You can repurpose the leftover kombu to make Simmered Kombu and Homemade Furikake (Rice Seasoning) and use the hydrated shiitake mushrooms just like how you would use fresh shiitake mushrooms.

Recipes You Can Use Vegan Dashi

5 different types of dashi in a jar and their ingredients.

The Ultimate Dashi Guide on Just One Cookbook

Dashi plays an important role as a flavor enhancer in Japanese cooking, so you don’t need to season the food with too much salt, fat, and sugar. Rich in minerals and other vitamins, dashi is considered a healthy ingredient in our daily diet.

There are five different types of dashi you can use in Japanese cooking, including vegetarian and vegan dashi (*).

  1. Kombu Dashi → made from kombu (dried kelp)*
  2. Katsuo Dashi → made from katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  3. Iriko Dashi → made from iriko or niboshi (dried anchovies/sardines)
  4. Shiitake Dashi → made from dried shiitake mushrooms*
  5. Awase Dashi → made from a combination of all above or two (e.g., kombu + katsuobushi)
Glass pitchers containing vegan dashi (shiitake kombu dashi).

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Glass pitchers containing vegan dashi (shiitake kombu dashi).

Vegan Dashi (Shiitake Kombu Dashi)

This Vegan Dashi, or Shiitake Kombu Dashi, is a plant-based Japanese soup stock made with dried shiitake mushrooms and dried kelp. While this umami-rich stock is perfect for vegans and vegetarians, it’s a versatile stock that anyone can enjoy. It’s very easy to make and you can use it in all kinds of Japanese recipes, from miso soup to simmered kabocha squash.

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Ingredients 

 

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

Instructions 

Before You Start…

  • Please note that this dashi requires a minimum steeping time of 30 minutes. Ideally, we let the dashi steep for 2-3 hours in the summertime and 4-5 hours in the wintertime.

  • Gather all the ingredients. Most Japanese recipes recommend gently cleaning the kombu with a damp cloth. However, kombu is pretty clean these days. Just make sure to dust off and remove mold spots, if any. Do not wash or wipe off the white powdery substance as it has lots of umami. For the dried shiitake mushrooms, check if there is any dust or dirt trapped in its gills under the caps. If there is, use a pastry brush to clean it off. Do not wash it under water.

To Cold Brew the Vegan Dashi (Mizudashi)

  • Put the kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms in a large bottle. Then, add the measured water.

  • Put the cap on and let it steep on the counter for at least 30 minutes to extract the kombu’s flavor naturally. If possible, let it steep for 2-3 hours in the summertime and 4-5 hours in the wintertime. You can also cold brew it overnight in the refrigerator. After steeping, it’s now ready to use as cold brew Vegan Dashi. You can either remove the kombu and shiitake from the bottle now, or go to the next step to extract even more flavor. See my suggestions at the end of the recipe for how to repurpose the spent kombu and shiitake.

To Extract More Flavor from the Cold Brew Vegan Dashi

To Store

  • If you are not using the Vegan Dashi right away, keep it in a bottle or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks. I recommend using it sooner for the best flavor.

To Use the Spent Kombu and Shiitake

Author: Namiko Chen

Course: Condiments

Cuisine: Japanese

Keyword: dried shiitake mushroom, kombu

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