Making dashi 3

Niboshi dashi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Dashi and Umami

By Heston Blumenthal, Pascal Barbot, Nobu Matsuhisa and Kiyomi Mikuni

Published 2009

  • About

Niboshi are small fish which are boiled and then dried. There is no specific ‘niboshi’ fish - rather, the kinds of fish used to make niboshi vary, with each lending a different flavour to the cooking into which it is incorporated. The most popular use for niboshi dashi in Japan is in the miso soup eaten at home, traditionally as part of every meal.


  • 2 L soft water
  • 50 g katakuchi iwashi niboshi (dried Japanese anchovies)
  • 10 g ma kombu


Preparation method

  1. Using your fingers, bend back and break off the head of the fish.
  2. Open up the stomach of the fish and remove the insides. The stomach and head often carry a bitter flavour; that is why it is best to remove them.
  3. Leave the niboshi and the kombu in the water to soak for 30 minutes to one hour.
  4. Heat and bring to the boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.
  5. Strain the dashi into a bowl through a thin cotton cloth.
  6. The niboshi dashi is ready to use.