Kombu Broth (Vegetarian Dashi)

Click for larger view

Soaking the kombu overnight releases almost all of the kombu's flavor without concentrating it, while bringing the kombu water to a boil releases some of the kombu's thickening power. The result is a heartier kombu broth, perfect for vegetarian soups.


MAKES: 4 Servings
PREP/COOK TIME: 15 minutes (after overnight soak)

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 (2-inch) pieces kombu
  • 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms


  1. Soak the kombu: Combine the water and kombu in a 1-quart or larger saucepan and soak the kombu for at least 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Bring it to a boil: Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer and then remove the kombu from the water just before it comes to a full boil.

  3. Add the mushrooms and simmer: Add the shiitakes, if using, and let the broth come to a rapid simmer. Continue simmering for about 1 minute.

  4. Steep the shiitake mushrooms: Remove the saucepan from heat and let the shiitakes steep in the broth for 5 minutes more.

  5. Strain the broth: Remove the shiitakes from the broth (save for making miso soup or another recipe). Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl.

Storage  The cooled broth can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Adapted from one of Martha Rose Shulman's amazing recipes


Click for larger view