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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Dashi Powder

Alright, so you’re in the middle of whipping up something delicious, and boom—you realize dashi powder is missing from your pantry.

We’ve all been there, and it’s a total bummer. But hang tight because I’ve got some killer swaps that’ll save your dish without a hitch.

No need to dash to the store or scrap your meal plan.

With a little creativity and these five fantastic substitutes, your cooking game is about to level up big time.

Trust me, your dishes are still going to smack of that umami goodness, dashi or no dashi.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dashi Powder

If you’re looking to add a unique umami flavor to your recipes but can’t find dashi powder, these substitutes are sure to please.

1 – Chicken Stock Powder

The chicken stock powder is a flavorful and convenient product that can easily elevate everyday cooking.

Not only does it last much longer than traditional chicken stock, but it also has an intense concentration of umami flavors which can add richness to almost any dish.

The powder has a savory flavor with a subtle herbal scent and a coarse texture with flecks of seasoning throughout.

A great substitute for dashi powder, you can simply slice mushrooms into thin pieces and stir them into the powder, then let it simmer until the desired level of taste is achieved.

Whether in soup, stews, or braises, the chicken stock powder will bring depth and complexity to many of your favorite dishes.

2 – Dried Bonito Shavings

Dried bonito shavings are a popular ingredient used in many Asian dishes, providing an unmistakable umami taste.

This savory flavor sensation is made from dried, smoked skipjack tuna that has been aged and then shaved into thin flakes.

Its characteristics are akin to other commonly-used ingredients such as meat stocks and miso paste.

The most significant advantage of dried bonito shavings over dashi powder is its intense flavor; while dashi powder can provide that same distinct umami, a few teaspoons of bonito flakes will hold up much longer under heat, offering more robust and powerful flavor to any dish.

Though it may require extra carbohydrates such as wheat or soy flour to make a roux or gravy, you can even substitute it for dashi powder when making soup stock or stews.

3 – Dried Shiitake Mushroom Soup Stock

For a delicious and unique twist on any soup, try using dried shiitake mushroom soup stock.

It’s an especially great seasoning for clear broths, as it brings an earthy aroma and savory taste to any recipe.

The texture of the stock is quite distinct; when added to warm liquid, it rehydrates in just minutes and softens up into tiny pieces, adding body and texture to the dish.

You can easily substitute it for instant dashi powder if you’re searching for something with an extra flavorful kick that won’t overpower other seasonings.

While the stock is tasty on its own, few things compare with a specialty broth made with shiitake mushrooms.

4 – Mentsuyu

Mentsuyu is a staple condiment of Japanese cuisine used for both dipping and cooking.

It is made from a combination of dashi or fish stock, sake, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

The flavor of mentsuyu is savory, with a sweet-sour twang from the mirin and slight fishiness from the dashi.

It has an intense flavor that pairs well with many dishes, especially noodles such as soba or udon.

Those without access to mentsuyu can still enjoy its taste by using dashi powder mixed in equal parts with soy sauce and mirin – the result will be close enough to this beloved condiment.

5 – Kombu Powder

Kombu powder is a pantry essential for anyone looking to experiment with stock-free Japanese cooking.

A flavor-packed vegan umami substitute, the powder is made from sustainably harvested kelp and has nutrient-rich benefits.

It can be used in soups and salads alike, having a naturally salty yet mild taste.

On the tongue, the texture comes across as having a slightly chewy consistency.

And as an alternative to dashi powder, kombu powder can be used in most instances by measuring it out at a 1:1 ratio – although with kombu being saltier than dashi, you may wish to dial back on additional seasoning as needed.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dashi Powder

Need a dashi powder alternative for your Japanese cuisine? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Explore our selection of the 5 best substitutes that will lend that essential umami flavor to your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Chicken Stock Powder
  • Dried Bonito Shavings
  • Dried Shiitake Mushroom Soup Stock
  • Mentsuyu
  • Kombu Powder


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Dashi Powder
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