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    10 Perfect Dashi Granules Substitutes | 100% Japanese

    There is always something fascinating about Japanese food. Dashi is one on the long list. You may have heard about it before. Dashi is one of the traditional stocks that is famous all over Japan. People often consider it the “heart of Japanese food” because it is used in their daily cooking. 

    Dashi is a table sauce that belongs to a family of stocks widely used in Japanese cuisines. It forms a base for many different soups and simmering liquids to highlight the savoury flavour called Umami. Dashi is also blended with a flour base for some grilled meals such as Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki. 

    This article talks about 10 ideal substitutes of Dashi Granules, their uses and benefits. Let’s dive right in. 

    Substitutes for Dashi Granules 

    There are several options if you are out of dashi granules or dashi powder. You can always try a new replacement; it may help keep the same taste in your food. 

    So, if you are craving a Japanese dish and can not find dashi powder, then here are ten substitutes for dashi powder that might help you fulfil your craving. 

    1. White Fish

    four white fish

    It is a great substitute for dashi granules, and white fish is a great replacement if you are fond of seafood. It will give the same umami flavour to your food.

    There are some ways to use a different ingredient in your dish, so check how much is needed when adding it to your food.

    • 1 cup of white fish is equal to 1 cup of dashi granules

    Additionally, the usage of oily fish is not recommended because it has different flavours that may ruin your food.

    2. Shellfish

    shrimp in white plate

    Shellfish is considered the best alternative for dashi granules as it gives the exact seafood taste more than other fishes. It is useful to add to many Japanese cuisines if you run out of dashi powder. 

    Here are some of its benefits that we must need to know:

    • Proteins 
    • Nutrients 
    • Good brain & heart health
    • Improves immune system
    • Helps in weight loss
    • Healthy fats

    In Japan, it is normal to use leftover seafood like shrimp, lobsters, or crabs in the food (mostly in soup). 

    You might also like Gluten-free fried shrimp. 

    3. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

    dried shiitake mushroomes

    Shiitake mushrooms have an umami flavour that can easily be used for Japanese dishes. The taste may contain the mushroom effect so it might not be suitable for miso soup. It is necessary to always read the instructions before using them for a meal. 

    You must soften the mushrooms for at least 30 minutes so they can be used as a good substitute for dashi granules. 

    Also, you can use it with dried seaweed and a few other vegetables. It tastes better when used in white or brown rice.

    Shiitake mushrooms come with some health benefits, such as:

    • Lessen cholesterol level
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Controls immune system

    4. Chicken Broth

    chicken broth in a bowl

    Chicken broth may not be the best replacement for dashi granules but still useful for soups as it gives a perfect umami flavour like dashi. Just note a few things before using it as a substitute:

    • It will not taste like other seafood that includes dashi.
    • It includes an extra amount of salt.

    Moreover, it includes some health benefits that are important to know because it helps to:

    • Heal cold & flu
    • Lessen inflammation
    • Manage weight loss
    • Control cholesterol

    Also, check out: Perfect dinner ideas for weight loss.

    5. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

    monosodium glutamate (MCG) in wooden spoon

    Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a good substitute for dashi powder as it is also used for kombu dashi. It even increases the umami flavour when you add it to your meal and is often used in Japanese households because it is easiest to find at the store/market. 

    It does not have many benefits as compared to other substitutes, but there is one thing:

    • It reduces uncontrolled salt intake (which can save you from several diseases).

    6. Shio Kombu  

    shio kombu in a plate

    Shio Kombu is a refined product of kombu that is also used as an alternative to dashi granules. It makes a good taste in your food but can be too salty, so it is important to use it according to your preference. 

    Also, it is not necessary to use it only while cooking. It can be added as sprinkles on the top of your meal (salad, rice, noodles, etc.)

    Its benefits are not yet fully researched so it is hard to tell one. But there are some nutrition facts that everyone needs to know:

    • Protein
    • Fibre
    • Sodium
    • Carb 

    It contains no sugars or fats, so it benefits some people with these problems.

    7. Soy Sauce

    soy sauce in glass saucepan

    Soy Sauce is the most used product in Japanese food. But it is important to know that if it’s being replaced with dashi, then only light or dark soy sauce is best to use. It has a variety of flavours as well, that’s why these things must be noticed while cooking.

    The most important thing to notice is that there is a difference in soy sauces from other countries as well. For example, the sauce from China tastes different from the one in Japan. It is a bit salty and less fragrant in China compared to Japan.

    There is inconsistency in dashi and soy sauce flavours, but it is not noticeable because it is a common product used all over the country and is easy to find. 

    Some of its benefits are:

    • Controls healthy digestion
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Lessen antiallergic reactions
    • It Might decrease sodium intake as well

    8. Broth Cubes

    broth cubes

    Powdered or cubed broths are a great and easy substitute if you run out of dashi. It is available at all the stores. You can use it in the following recipes as a replacement for dashi:

    • Soups
    • Stews
    • Stir-fries
    • Curries
    • Risotto

    It may be too flavoury, so you must boil it well before cooking. And use it as per the instructions written on the package. Add more water if needed. 

    9. Kombu Tea

    kombu tea or laminaria kelp powder and leaves

    Kombu or Laminaria Digitata comes in the shape of leaves and in powdered form too. It is a kind of seaweed that is mainly used in making dashi as well. It can be a great replacement for dashi granules as it maintains the same umami flavour.

    In Japan, people use kombu dried leaves to add to their tea because it is beneficial for health, like digestion problems, and helps in soothing the nervous system.

    Also, it contains a high collection of minerals such as:

    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Magnesium

    10. Dried Bonito Shavings

    Dried Bonito Shavings

    Some dried bonito shavings are a good option if you do not have dashi granules. It might not always be easy to make bonito stocks.

    But do not worry about that. You can add it as a sprinkle too. Just add a few on the top of your meal once you are done cooking. It will surely give an amazing taste.

    Here are some dishes where you can add dried bonito shavings:

    • Miso soup
    • Cold tofu
    • Stews
    • Salad
    • Sushi

    Uses & Benefits of Dashi Granules

    Dashi is usually used in:

    • Miso soup
    • Salads
    • Noodles
    • Stews
    • Fried-food

    Also, it is beneficial for:

    • Mental health
    • Emotional state
    • High blood pressure

    Moreover, it gives an amazing taste when you add it according to the recipe. But sometimes, it is hard to find dashi granules because of their unavailability in the market. There is no need to worry about that.


    Dashi granules are a traditional ingredient used in most Japanese dishes all over the country. These substitutes might be helpful for you when dashi is unavailable or out of stock. You can always try the above-mentioned alternatives to match its taste and amplify your food.

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