What Is Dashi Powder? How to Use? Not Ajinomoto?


Is Dashi Powder same as Ajinomoto?

When I lived in Japan, I used to think that if I wanted dashi soup, I could just get it from dried bonito flakes and kombu seaweed, so I didn’t need dashi powder or Ajinomoto. But then I happened to be living abroad, where bonito flakes and kombu seaweed are extremely expensive.

“What’s the difference between dashi powder and ajinomoto?” was the phrase I thought while doing my last shopping at the supermarket in Japan. I can tell you now, they are totally different, so just buy both without hesitation.

What is dashi powder?

Dashi powder, as the name implies, is “the powder that makes dashi,” or to put it more politely, “instant granulated dashi”. It is a magic powder that can be dissolved in water or hot water to make instant dashi soup.

Dashi powder contains not only the umami ingredient monosodium L-glutamate, but also powdered dried bonito flakes and kelp, as well as salt and sugar. Therefore, rather than just dissolving it in hot water to make dashi soup, it would be more appropriate to say that just dissolving it in hot water makes a delicious dashi soup with its taste adjusted.

What about Ajinomoto?

Ajinomoto is a seasoning that adds only umami, one of the five widely accepted tastes today. It is in the same category as salt, which adds saltiness, and sugar, which adds sweetness. For more information, please refer to this article.
3 Types of Seasonings! Know Them and Cook Easier - Piece of Oishi
What is seasoning? Why do we need seasoning? Seasoning makes food delicious. If you know more about seasoning, it helps your cooking a lot!

After all, same or different?

Let’s just conclude, they are completely different.

More about Dashi powder


The ingredients for Ajinomoto’s Hondashi are as follows
Quote and translate

Salt (manufactured in Japan), sugars (sugar, lactose), flavor ingredients (bonito powder, bonito extract), yeast extract, yeast extract fermented seasoning / seasoning (amino acids, etc.).


Salt and sugar equivalents

According to Ajinomoto’s website, the salt equivalent per gram of Hondashi is 0.4 grams.
Incidentally, I did a calculation based on a very rough assumption before, and the result was as follows.

  • Salt 0.4g
  • Sugar 0.3g
  • Bonito flakes 0.2g
  • Monosodium L-glutamate 0.1g

I did some experiments and compared flavors, and I think this result is almost correct.

How to use dashi-no-moto

I think the reasons why dashi stock is used in recipes can be divided into the following two categories.

To make dashi soup

When it’s too much trouble to make dashi soup from dried bonito flakes or kombu, or when you can’t find the ingredients, you can use it instead. The amount depends on the type of dashi powder, but 1/3 tsp (1g) in 150mL will make a good dashi soup. However, it is not completely the same as dashi soup because it also contains salt and sugar.

Adding the flavor of dashi

The advantage of dashi powder is that you can easily adjust the thickness of the dashi taste. For example, you can add more dashi flavor to a dashimaki tamago.
Dashimaki Tamago using Microwave
Dashimaki tamago is a Japanese omelet with dashi. Dashimaki is cooked in a square pan, but using a microwave oven makes it easy and fluffy.

Furthermore, adding dashi powder to fried rice is a way to add only the taste and flavor of dashi without adding water, which is something that only dashi powder can do.

Can I substitute the dashi powder?

Can dashi soup be used instead?

If you are using a recipe that calls for dashi as soup, it is possible to substitute dashi soup for dashi. However, for recipes that use more than 1/3 tsp (1g) of dashi stock per 150mL of water, it is necessary to use a thicker dashi soup.

Also, for recipes such as fried rice, where no water is added, dashi soup cannot be substituted.

Can I use ajinomoto?

If we consider only the amount of umami (monosodium L-glutamate), 1g of dashi powder is equivalent to 0.1g of ajinomoto. However, ajinomoto cannot add the flavor of dashi from dried bonito flakes and kombu, which is the unique feature of dashi powder.

To make up for it, you can add dried bonito flakes or kombu, but that’s a bit of a fallacy, so please don’t substitute with ajinomoto and just use dashi powder


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