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on August 7, 2010
I buy this locally in a much larger box but it is the same product. This product is just as good as making your own, which I did for years before finding it. The larger box has 1,000 servings but that is for a weak dashi so I use double the granules. For this product with the 3 packets, just add them into a small jar and use 1 ts per cup hot water (adjust to your tastes). That adjustment is why it says '3 to 6 cups'. Also, this product stores with no loss in flavor in a sealed container for years. I actually have some in a salt shaker (with rice to keep it dry) and use it commonly as a flavor boost to vegetables (green ones especially work well with it).

This is actually a good starter size box. For those not sure what to do with it, a sample recipe:

3 cups made up dashi (1 packet)- taste and add water if you wish it weaker.
1 packet Udon noodles (may use cooked spagetti) appx 1.25 cups volume
1 cup lightly packed leafy vegetables (spinach, mustard greens, cabbages etc)
Optional- baby bok choys whole, shellfish (whole or chopped), peeled shrimp, miso

Bring to a simmer and as soon as the veggies and optional meats are done to your liking, it's ready. This is the 'kitchen sink' soup of Japan, meaning just about anything might land in there though the items are normally pre-cooked leftover bits.
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The basic stock for 1,000s of Japanese recipes, dashi is absolutely essential for anyone wanting to cook authentic Japanese cuisine. As famous chef Shizuo Tsuji once said " "many substitutes for dashi are possible, but without dashi, dishes are merely a la japonaise and lack the authentic flavor".

Dashi can be made pretty easily from scratch, boiling some kombu or katsuobushi shavings, but you often make far more than you need for the particular recipe, and it can be a pain to spend all that time boiling. Instant dashi does the trick just fine, and almost no one will notice the substitution. This kind here, "Hon Dashi" (meaing "Real Dashi"), is the cream of the crop of instant substitutes. Made by the company Ajinomoto, Hon Dashi is absolutely brimming with umami, the fifth basic flavor found in Asian cooking. Hon Dashi is made from katsuobushi shavings, so it is a basic fish stock and not suitable for vegans, who would probably want to make their own kombu stock.

I use Hon Dashi for almost everything, from basic miso soup, to tamagoyaki, to using it to boil vegetables and give them a heartier flavor. Along with mirin and soy sauce, it is one of the most basic ingredients in a Japanese kitchen.
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on March 5, 2015
After 4 years in Japan, this is THE brand that everyone uses for dashi. If you aren't familiar with dashi, it is basically soup stock in Japanese. Most of the time it is made with a mix of seaweed like kombu and fish or fish bones but it depends on the family. This is like consome powder and you add it to water to make having dashi much easier! It really doesn't make much since for most soups to bother making your own as other intense flavors like miso are going to over power the broth anyway. If you only cook Japanese food sparingly this will last a long time. Not only is it great for miso soup, but I also use it when making nikujaga, tonjiru, nabe, and donburi dishes. It helps add just a hint of flavor that really makes the difference in most dishes.

As a wife to a Japanese husband and someone who has been cooking Japanese food regularly for close to 10 years, my advice is buy instant dashi powder. It will save you at least 30 minutes and personally I don't find the taste all that different.
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on February 11, 2011
I am very happy with this dashi. I like that I can use it to make just a small amount of stock if a recipe calls for it, and it also makes an excellent miso soup without having to get take-out every time I happen to crave some. (For two servings I use 1 tsp dashi powder, 3 cups water, 2 big tbsp miso paste - plus add-ins like onion, tofu, etc. It's really good!) This is a good value too - a box this size will last me a long time. Inside the box there are 3 foil packets to help it stay fresh. They do recommend refridgeration of the opened portion, but the rest can stay on a shelf.

Although salt is listed first on the ingredient list, the sodium level in this product is not very high. Which is good considering the amount of sodium that other Japanese ingredients tend to have in them. It's important to remember that ingredients are listed by weight: salt is going to weigh much more than the dried fish flakes.
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on June 1, 2009
My best friend returned to Japan and I felt that unless I went to a Japanese restaurant, I would never, ever have real miso soup.

I tried every paste, every color. I tried making my miso with and without wakame; I even tried mixing the pastes and still could not get it right.

I FINALLY got it! I didn't even intend to order Hon Dashi, had it on my wish list, but it was the best mistake I could make.

I'll be experimenting with my dashi to see what else I can add it to. The smokey flavor is superb.
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on February 13, 2015
What a convenience.

This allows me prepare deep flavored miso soup in 2 min.
And can be mixed to udon even soba broth.

But basically this is just flavored MSG. If you are a part of the anti-MSG hype then you should skip this.
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on June 4, 2015
Although my main box was open, the inner packets were closed. There are no instructions on how much dashi to use to make one cup of broth, so just for those looking, it's one teaspoon dashi per one cup water.
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on September 4, 2013
Now if you just want a little fish stock, and don't want to go through the Kombu and Bonita flakes proper process, this is the way to go. I often want just a little fish stock and do not want to make two gallons for a cup or two.
Steaming clams and don't drink alcohol, use this instead of white wine or chicken broth (not very sea like).
I don't use the entire envelope when I need just a little. Just mix to taste, put a file folder clip on balance of package, and put in the fridge in a spot where you won't lose it.
Just to be sure, use a permanent marker and write the open date on the outside so if you find it in 5 years you know you lost of forgot it.
Jim in So Calif
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on February 21, 2009
I bought this product so I can make miso soup at home. It turns out perfect every time. It taste just like the kind you get at a Japanese restaurant.
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on September 19, 2013
Okay, folks....Dashi has to have MSG! Dashi is made with konbu (seaweed) and bonito (fish). If you ever have seen dried konbu there is a film of white powder. Guess what folks? The white powder is pure, naturally-occurring MSG. So if you are put off by the MSG listed on the ingredient list, then don't eat miso soup, or anything else that has dashi, even if it's homemade. For those of us who love dashi flavor, and who aren't sensitive to MSG, this is an indispensable product.
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