If you are a Japanese cooking enthusiast, you might already know that umami is the key to creating delicious Japanese food. One of the components of umami is the “dashi.” Although some people prefer to make dashi the traditional way using bonito flakes or kombu kelp, many keep dashi powder in the kitchen to quickly add umami to the dish. Do you know there’s even an easier way to incorporate dashi into your everyday cooking? Meet Shiro Dashi, a versatile dashi base you can use to make everything from simple noodle soup to a mouth-watering hotpot dish!
What is Shiro Dashi?
Shiro Dashi is a concentrated dashi soup base. All you need to do is mix the soup base with water to dilute, and voila, you have an umami-packed dashi soup in seconds! When using dashi powder it often requires you to brew it in a pot. In contrast, Shiro Dashi is ready to use, making it an ideal ingredient for cooking Japanese dishes quickly without losing the authentic flavors.
Two key ingredients make Shiro Dashi’s flavor rich with an enticing aroma. The first one is the dashi extract. Dashi extract can be made from various ingredients like bonito, seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, iriko (sardines), etc. The second element is soy sauce. Usually, usukuchi (light) soy sauce is used. Usukuchi soy sauce is lighter in color, but it’s saltier than the regular dark soy sauce. Often, the recipe calls for usukuchi soy sauce when its primary purpose is to add the flavor of soy sauce to the dish without adding the soy sauce’s dark color. Since Shiro Dashi uses usukuchi soy sauce as a base, you can use it without worrying about ruining the vibrant colors of other ingredients.
Marukin’s Premium Shiro Dashi
When choosing which Shiro Dashi to use, we recommend Marukin’s product. Marukin is famous for its traditional soy sauce brewing method dating back to 1907. Not only that, it uses artisanal select premium-grade bonito flakes as its base. Combining it with usukuchi soy sauce brewed with Marukin’s century-old method, you can surely expect umami flavor bursting in your mouth with this product! It is also non-GMO and uses unprocessed soybeans and no artificial preservatives.
How to Use Shiro Dashi
Using Shiro Dashi is extremely easy. You just need to mix it with water to create a dashi soup base that you can use to make many Japanese foods! What’s more, you can use it just like soy sauce. Pour a little bit over cold tofu or boiled vegetables, and you’ll have delicious side dishes packed with umami in seconds. Below are some examples of how to use Shiro Dashi at home.
Soup for Udon or Soba Noodles
1:6 (example: 1 Tbsp Shiro Dashi, 6 Tbsp Water. If you want to double it, 2 Tbsp, 12 Tbsp.)
Now that you can easily make soup for your noodle dish, you can spend some time making delicious tempura to go with your noodles!
Instead of using vegetable stock to steam vegetables, add a bit of Shiro Dashi to make a Japanese-style simmered dish. It doesn’t have to be vegetables, experiment and simmer anything you’d like!
Oden is one of the popular hot pot dishes for the wintertime in Japan. Now you can make the soup-base easily with Shiro Dashi.
Miso soup is excellent. But sometimes you want to switch it up and make a clear Japanese soup! Just add seasonal vegetables and heat the base to make a simple yet umami-rich soup.
Benefits of Using Shiro Dashi
As discussed before, one of the benefits of using Shiro Dashi is to season food without adding the dark color of soy sauce. This is especially useful when making steamed vegetables or rice when you want umami flavor but don’t want your dish to look brown. Food presentation is one of the most critical elements of Japanese cuisine. How the end product looks has a significant influence on how appetizing the food is!
You also cannot go wrong when using this product. Even if you’re a complete novice in Japanese cooking, you can magically recreate delicious Japanese food at home just by mixing it with water or pouring it over your tofu or steamed vegetables.
However, there’s one thing you need to remember when using Shiro Dashi. Usukuchi soy sauce used in Shiro Dashi has a higher sodium content than regular soy sauce. So even if Shiro Dashi itself tastes good, make sure not to use it too much.
Recipe Using Shiro Dashi
This soup recipe is an easy way to try Shiro Dashi at home. You can always substitute ingredients to your liking. Once you get the hang of using Shiro Dashi, you might not want to cook without it!
By Ayano Ibata Martin