Dashi is the main stock used in Japanese cuisine. Used for soup, it’s a simple broth made with edible kelp in boiling water, but many versions use flakes of tuna or sardines, so it’s good to make your own. Often used as a base for miso, you can also make it by soaking shiitake mushrooms. Many plant-based dashi recipes use seaweed, which should be avoided for people with thyroid issues.
Basic Vegan Dashi (Lands and Flavors) offers a plant-based version of this popular stock, which in the past has been made with tuna. This recipe uses kelp and shiitake mushrooms, to create the smoky flavour without fish or anchovies.
Other Vegan Japanese Stocks
- Shoyu is made from soybeans, wheat and salt. This fermented liquid seasoning is made over a long time, to allow the flavours to develop.
- Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice. It is used to sweeten sushi rice and dressings.
- Sake is a Japanese rice wine, which is made with alcohol. It’s made by fermenting rice (which has been polished, to remove the grain).
- Mirin is quite like sake, but has more sugar and less alcohol.