All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Niboshi dashi / dried young sardine stock

For many families, dashi made with niboshi dried young sardines is essential for their everyday miso soup. Niboshi give a deep flavor and gentle punch to the stock. There are two main ways of preparing niboshi dashi. One is to remove the sardines’ heads and bellies, toast on low heat and then simmer for some time. The other is to soak whole niboshi in cold water overnight. The latter method results in a lighter taste. Outlined below is the “toast and simmer” version.


(yield 300-350 cc dashi, enough for two miso soup servings)
2-5 niboshi dried young sardines
400 cc water


Remove heads and bellies of niboshi.


In a pot, put niboshi, and toast (without oil) on medium low to low heat until toasty and aromatic, for several minutes.


Pour water, and bring to boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Remove foam on surface as it appears.
Remove niboshi, or strain.

  • Toasting niboshi first prevents a fishy taste and smell in dashi. If these do not bother you, you can skip this process.
  • The number of niboshi used depends on your preference. I want to have at least 2 niboshi of little finger size per 400cc water. As the niboshi I used above were skinny, and I put 3 of them.

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