Savor the Umami: A Vegetarian Kombu Dashi Recipe

My fellow foodies, allow me to introduce you to my latest obsession: Vegetarian Kombu Dashi. As a vegan chef, I am always on the hunt for easy and delicious plant-based meals that satisfy and nourish. Kombu Dashi is an essential Japanese soup stock made entirely from plant-based ingredients, most commonly kombu seaweed and dried shiitake mushrooms. This stock is at the heart of many classic Japanese dishes, imbuing them with an umami flavor that is just irresistible.

But let’s be honest, making dashi from scratch can be intimidating for home cooks. That’s why I am excited to share this simple Vegetarian Kombu Dashi recipe that not only delivers on taste but also is easy and accessible to make. In just 12 hours (or less), you can have a flavorful soup stock ready for soups, stews, noodle bowls or anything else you desire.

With a few common ingredients like kombu dried shiitake mushrooms, this vegan and gluten-free soup base will become a staple in your cooking routine in no time. So join me on this savory journey as we learn how to make perfect Vegetarian Kombu Dashi together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Kombu Dashi
Vegetarian Kombu Dashi

Let me tell you a little something about this vegetarian kombu dashi recipe — it’s mouth-watering, flavorful, and vegan-friendly! This dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

Firstly, the kombu dashi is an essential ingredient in Japanese cooking that can enhance the flavor of soups and broths. It is also known for its umami-rich taste that adds depth to any flavor profile. This vegan dashi is made from kelp seaweed, preferably kombu dried, and dried shiitake mushrooms combination. The combination of these common ingredients in making vegetarian or vegan dashi stock, is unlike anything else.

Secondly, this recipe uses plant-based ingredients which makes it an excellent choice for vegans looking for delicious soup stocks, without compromising their dietary restrictions. And for those who are gluten-free, this mushroom-kombu dashi recipe is perfect for you!

Lastly, not only is this recipe easy to follow, but it’s also versatile enough for experimentation. Add some miso paste and you’ll have yourself an irresistible Miso Soup Recipe or use Kombu Broth as a base for spaghetti squash or substitute shiitake mushrooms with other veggies like carrots or celery to create the ultimate vegetable broth. The options are endless!

Take your pick from a variety of variations of this plant-based dish by tweaking each recipe with double-dashi vegetables or by mixing different types of mushroom dashi broth.

In short, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make vegan dashi that’s perfect for soups and broths, then this vegetarian kombu dashi recipe is the perfect one for you!

Ingredient List

“Starting the day off right with a warm bowl of Vegetarian Kombu Dashi”

Let’s take a look at the ingredients needed for this Vegetarian Kombu Dashi recipe:

– Kombu seaweed

Kombu is the main ingredient that gives dashi its umami flavor. You will need 30 grams of dried kombu seaweed.

– Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

Dried shiitake mushrooms add depth and richness to the broth. You will need around 5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms.

– Water

Water is the base for this stock recipe. You will need 8 cups of water.

That’s it! With only three ingredients you can make your own vegan dashi stock right at home. If you’re in a rush or don’t have access to fresh kombu or dried shiitakes, there are alternatives like dashi powder or double dashi vegetables that can still give you a flavorful base for your Japanese soup, miso soup recipe, or any other dish that requires dashi soup stock.

The Recipe How-To

“Get your daily dose of umami with this savory broth”

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients needed, let’s move on to the most exciting part – cooking! Making vegetarian kombu dashi doesn’t take much of your time compared to its non-vegetarian counterpart. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Preparing the Kombu

  • Wipe the kombu with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and microorganisms from its surface. Make sure to not submerge it in water as that may wash away umami flavor.

  • Place the kombu in a pot with 8 cups of water and let it soak for 30 minutes to rehydrate it.

  • Cook over medium heat until it almost boils, then remove the kombu. Do not boil kombu, or else your soup will become slimy.

Step 2: Cooking the Shiitake Mushrooms

  • In another pot, add dried shiitake mushrooms and 4 cups of water.

  • Boil it over high heat and then reduce heat to low.

  • Simmer for about 20 minutes with a lid on.

Step 3: Combining Kombu Dashi and Shiitake Mushroom Broth

Combine the soup stocks which were prepared separately and you can use them right away as a base for soups, stews or in any Japanese dishes that require dashi.

Below are pro tips that will ensure perfect results.

Pro Tips:

  • Use cold water when soaking kombu
    This will help release umami flavors more smoothly. Hot water tends to destroy umami which is essential in making dashi broth.

  • Do not wash shiitake mushrooms
    Dried shiitakes release more flavor than fresh ones when they’re heated so just give them a quick wipe with a clean towel or cloth.

  • Remove both ingredients as soon as they start to simmer
    Overcooking makes the soup thick and slimy which isn’t ideal texture-wise.

That’s it – you now have hearty, tasty vegetarian kombu dashi broth! You can also watch step-by-step instructions on how to make this recipe on various cooking YouTube channels for further guidance.

Substitutions and Variations

“A simple and satisfying meal for Meatless Monday”

If you want to switch up the flavors of this vegetarian kombu dashi recipe, there are several substitutions and variations you can try.

– Dried shiitake mushrooms: You can substitute shiitake mushrooms with other dried mushrooms such as porcini, chanterelles or black fungus. Alternatively, you can omit them altogether and make pure kombu dashi.

– Kombu: If you cannot find dried kombu seaweed, you can use fresh kombu or kelp seaweed. The flavor may differ slightly, but it will still give you a delicious umami-rich stock.

– Double dashi: For a stronger flavor, you can make double dashi by reusing the same kombu and shiitake mushrooms for a second round of boiling. The resulting broth will have a deeper taste, suitable for hearty dishes or miso soup recipes.

– Vegetables: You can add sliced carrots, onions, celery or leeks to the stock for additional flavor. However, keep in mind that these vegetables may alter the taste profile of traditional Japanese soup stock.

– Spices: To add some kick to your dashi stock, you can experiment with spices like ginger, garlic or chili peppers. These aromatics blend well with both kombu and shiitake mushroom flavors.

– Miso paste: Once the vegetarian kombu dashi is ready, add miso paste to make miso soup. You can use any type of miso depending on your preference for sweetness or saltiness.

– Pasta dishes: If you want to use dashi in pasta dishes instead of soups, try combining it with spaghetti squash or soba noodles. The subtle umami flavor will complement the sauce without overwhelming it.

Ultimately, substitutions and variations are part of the fun of cooking with plant-based ingredients. Don’t be afraid to experiment and create your own signature dashi stock recipe using the many possibilities available!

Serving and Pairing

“Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Vegetarian Kombu Dashi”

Now that your vegetarian kombu dashi is complete and ready to serve, there are a variety of ways you can enjoy it. The umami flavor of this Japanese soup stock is incredibly versatile, making it the perfect addition to many dishes.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy vegetarian dashi is to use it as the base for a miso soup recipe. Simply add sliced mushrooms and other vegetables of your choice to the simmering broth, along with a spoonful of miso paste.

Another popular way to incorporate kombu dashi into your meals is to use it as a broth for noodle soups or stews. Try adding some cooked udon noodles or ramen noodles to the broth, along with some sliced green onions and tofu for a delicious and filling meal.

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, why not try pairing your vegetarian dashi with spaghetti squash? Simply roast the squash in the oven until tender, then scoop out the flesh and mix it with your dashi broth for an unexpected and flavorful combination.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your kombu dashi, remember that it’s always best to pair it with other plant-based ingredients in order to fully appreciate its subtle flavors. And if you have any leftover broth, don’t hesitate to freeze it for later use – it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The perfect base for a nourishing and flavorful soup”

One of the great benefits of this vegetarian Kombu Dashi recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for future use. It’s perfect if you’re planning to prepare a soup or stew that requires a dashi stock base, as you’ll be able to make the broth well in advance.

To store, allow the dashi to cool down completely. Once it has reached room temperature, keep it in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. This way, it can last up to 5-7 days without any issues.

When reheating your dashi stock, it’s important not to boil it as this can impact its umami flavor. Instead, heat over low-medium heat until it reaches the desired temperature. You can also reheat using a microwave or stove top.

If you’re looking to store this dashi for much longer than a week, then consider freezing it instead of storing in the fridge. You can freeze your kombu dashi for up to 2-3 months without any issues at all.

Overall, this vegan Kombu Dash recipe is incredibly versatile and perfect for those who crave umami flavors without having to use any meat products.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Warm and comforting, this dish will soothe your soul”

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let me share with you some tips to make the perfect vegetarian Kombu Dashi:

1. Quality of ingredients is key

To achieve the best flavor, it is crucial to use top-notch ingredients. Look for high-quality dried shiitake mushrooms and Kombu seaweed – the fresher the better. Using fresh water also makes a big difference in taste.

2. Be patient

Dashi broth needs time to develop its deep umami flavor, so don’t rush it! Ideally, let your vegetables and mushrooms soak with kombu for 12 hours or overnight.

3. Experiment with different combinations

While Kombu and dried Shiitake mushrooms are the classic dashi ingredients, there’s no harm in branching out and trying new combinations of vegetables, seaweed, or dried mushrooms.

4. Double dashi

For extra rich and flavorful stock, you can make a second batch of dashi using the same kombu and mushrooms.

5. Straining the broth

To get a crystal-clear dashi free of floating particles or grainy texture, strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

6. Freezing excess dashi

If you have leftovers, pour the broth into ice cube trays and freeze them into cubes for later use in soups, stews, or sauces.

7. Mix with miso for soup

For an easy and hearty miso soup recipe, mix your homemade dashi with miso paste to create a comforting vegetarian soup full of umami flavors.

8. Pair with spaghetti squash

Serve this fragrant Japanese soup over roasted spaghetti squash for added nutrients and a delicious texture contrast.

Follow these tips to create a flavorful vegetarian Kombu Dashi that is sure to impress your family and friends alike!


Before you begin cooking with kombu dashi, you might have some questions about the ingredients or process. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this vegan and vegetarian soup stock. From substitutions to storage, these tips will help you navigate the world of kombu dashi with confidence. So, let’s dive into frequently asked questions and concerns so that you can cook up a storm!

What is a vegetarian alternative to dashi?

The typical components utilized for creating a vegetarian dashi broth are kombu, or a combination of kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms.

What is vegan dashi made of?

Vegan Dashi, also known as Shojin Dashi or Shojin broth, is a type of Japanese soup stock that is made using nutrient-dense kombu (dried kelp) and dehydrated shiitake mushrooms. It is a plant-based alternative to traditional dashi, which typically contains fish or other seafood.

What is kombu dashi made of?

Kombu dashi is a type of Japanese stock made by boiling kelp seaweed, which is an edible seaweed that contains essential nutrients like potassium and high fiber content. Aside from being packed with healthy minerals, it’s also responsible for imparting umami flavor in dishes.

What can I do with dashi kombu?

Transform your leftover kombu from making Japanese soup stock into a delightful dish of Kombu Tsukudani simmered in a sweet and savory sauce. This dish complements simple steamed rice perfectly and will elevate your meal to another level.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vegetarian Kombu Dashi Recipe is a must-try for anyone who wants to experience the rich umami flavor. By using kombu and shiitake mushrooms, two of the most common ingredients in Japanese cuisine, we are creating a delicious and flavorful dashi stock that can be used as a base for various soups or stews. This recipe is also very easy to make, and it only requires a few simple steps to create vegan and gluten-free soup stock.

Moreover, this recipe offers some fantastic health benefits because it is plant-based and full of nutrients that our bodies need. Kelp seaweed is rich in iodine, while shiitake mushrooms contain antioxidants and beta-glucans that help boost the immune system. By making this vegetarian dashi recipe, you are not only enjoying a delicious meal but also taking care of your well-being.

In conclusion, I encourage you to try this recipe and experiment with different variations to find your perfect combination. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or simply love Japanese cuisine, this vegetarian Kombu Dashi recipe will not disappoint!

Vegetarian Kombu Dashi

Vegetarian Kombu Dashi Recipe

This recipe uses kelp but no bonito flakes. Dashi is a basic soup stock. This recipe can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge 2-3 days or frozen. Taken from Japanese Cuisine for Everyone by Yukiko Moriyama.
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Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 4 cups


  • 6-inch kombu
  • 4 cups water


  • To clean the kombu, wipe it with a damp cloth. If you wsh it, some of the flavor will go away. Since bonito is not being added to this recipe, you want the full flavor of the kombu.
  • Soak kombu in the water for 1 hour.
  • After the 1 hour soak, bring water to a boil, removing the kombu just before the water starts boiling.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 237gSodium: 7.1mg
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Easy, Japanese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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