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THE INCREDIBLE BENEFITS of Dashi Broth (+ Easy Recipe!)

The Incredible Benefits of Dashi Broth (+ Easy Recipe!)

Bone broth is known as nature’s beauty and wellness elixir for many reasons. The slow, lengthy process of simmering the bones with herbs and aromatics helps draw out the rich mineral properties and collagen within the bones, joints, and ligaments — think areas like knuckles, feet, spines, etc.

But we don’t always have the time to make a 12-24 hour (or longer!) broth, and many of us are vegetarian (or at least pescatarian), so the idea of boiling animal bones doesn’t quite work for us either. While bone broth may be rich in certain nutrients, the more delicate, quick, simple, and pescatarian-friendly dashi broth is a nutrient-rich powerhouse as well.

Dashi broth is a combination of dried kelp, known as kombu, and bonito or katsuobushi flakes. These flakes are made from dried or smoked fish — usually either skipjack tuna or the bonito fish, which is a close relative of tuna.

Kombu is a rich source of minerals on its own. Like most sea vegetables, it’s packed with iodine, which is vital for proper function of the thyroid gland and regulating metabolism. It’s also got iron, which helps us absorb and assimilate vitamin C (a building block of collagen) and carry oxygen to our cells. Kombu is also a rich source of calcium, building strong bones and teeth, as well as vitamins A and C, supporting immunity, eyesight, soft tissues, and skin health.

Bonito, or katsuobushi flakes, are also a rich source of nutrients: They are high in protein, iron, niacin, and B12, which aids muscular recovery, energy levels, metabolism, and hormones. They have all the essential amino acids, making them a great addition to the diet for any active lifestyle. They’re also vital for producing collagen in the body — so in a way, this alternative to bone broth encourages our bodies to make our own!

These are big claims, but with the science to support it: Studies show that dashi broth from bonito flakes can reduce mental fatigue, and even increase stamina. It’s linked to lower blood pressure, increasing circulation, and decreasing oxidative stress, and even helping reduce mental and emotional stress.

While we don’t consider dashi a sports drink (imagine filling your 32oz thermal water bottle with fish broth and heading to Pilates…), we do think it’s great to sip on in the morning for a savory breakfast, in the afternoon for a snack, or for using to cook grains or as the base of delicious soups for a nutrient power boost. The best part? It’s fairly easy to make, and doesn’t take long. Here is our go-to recipe for a super simple and delicate dashi stock:


  • 4 cups of purified or filtered water
  • About two 4-inch strips of kombu kelp
  • 2 cups of bonito flakes


  • Cut a couple of slits into your kombu, either with kitchen shears making a fringe-like edge (no need to get too intricate, 3-4 cuts is fine), or use a knife to hash slits on the surface of the kombu. Dried kelp is rather stiff, so cutting slits with kitchen shears might be your best bet. This helps the kombu release some of its mineral properties a little easier.
  • Add the kombu to the 4 cups of water in your saucepan, and allow it to soak at room temperature for about 30 minutes. If you have time, you can even let the kombu soak in the water overnight — just make sure it’s cool or room temperature water for this part! You don’t want the kombu soaking in hot water for too long; it can make the broth bitter and slimy.
  • Bring the kombu and water to a near-boil over a low to medium heat. Using a fine mesh sieve or slotted spoon, skim the surface of any impurities or grey foam.
  • When you start to see bubbles around the edge of the pan, take it off the burner and remove the kombu. Let the liquid cool down slightly, 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the bonito flakes to the broth, and bring it to a boil. Again, skim the surface every now and then.
  • When the dashi is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the dashi simmer for about 30 seconds. Then, remove it from heat to a cool burner. Let the fish flakes sink to the bottom; it should take about 10 minutes.
  • Strain the dashi into a bowl using a mesh sieve, or a cheese cloth.

Use the fresh dashi right away, or reserve in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.