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How to Make Korean Style Dashi Stock

Give life to your Korean soup by learning how to make Korean soup stock (aka Korean style dashi stock)! 

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

What is Dashi?

Do you know Dashi? Dashi is cooking stock in Japanese terms. It’s used in soup as a base broth, in some side dishes and in noodle broth etc. It’s like a back bone of Japanese cuisine. So why am I talking about Japanese food – Dashi here?

Well, there’s Dashi in Korean cooking as well. In Korea, we call this Yuksu (육수), however, Dashi (다시) is also a commonly used terminology as well.

Korean Soup Stock

Among others, dried kelp and dried anchovy stock (Dashima Myeolchi Yuksu, 다시마 멸치 육수) is the most commonly used in Korean cooking. For even more complex flavor, some Koreans add dried shiitake mushroom, the white part of green onion (close to the root) and/or Korean radish (daikon radish) on top of this.

As you can see from the picture, dried kelp and dried anchovy stock is thin water based stock. It has a subtle but savory note. You can use this stock in various Korean soups (e.g. Korean fish cake soup and Korean miso (doenjang) soup) and in tteokbokki etc.

With well made dashi, you don’t need to use as much seasoning in your main dish.  If you are not familiar with the base ingredients – dried kelp and dried anchovy, making this stock could be intimidating. But it’s very simple to make so I hope you give this a try!

Ingredients for Korean Dashi Stock (results in about 4 and 1/2 cups of stock)

  • 6 cups water
  • 10g (0.4 ounces) dried kelp (or Japanese kombu) – I buy pre-cut dried kelp. Each kelp piece is about 6.5cm (2.6 inch) x 4.5cm (1.8 inch).
  • 30g (1.1 ounces) dried anchovy – It’s about 20 medium sized dried anchovies.

*1 cup = 250 ml

How to Make Korean Style Dashi Stock

1. Gently wipe dried kelp with a wet kitchen towel/kitchen paper to remove any debris or dust. (You can skip this step if you’re short on time.)

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

2. Soak the dried kelp in the water (6 cups) in a sauce pan for 1 hour. (You can do this overnight if you can afford the time for an even deeper flavor. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, skip this step.)

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

3. Remove the head and the black innards of the anchovy. Put the cleaned anchovy into a spice ball/large tea ball strainer. (If you don’t have this strainer, skip this. But it makes the cleaning process a lot neater.)

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

4. Add the anchovy filled spice ball into the sauce pan (from step 2). Alternatively, if you skipped step 2, add the water. Then boil the kelp and the anchovy for 10 mins on medium low heat.

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

5. 10 mins later, remove the kelp (with some tongs) and boil the anchovy for another 10 mins on low heat.

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

6. Remove the anchovy ball and sieve the stock through kitchen muslin cloth to catch any leftover kelp or anchovy particles. Now it’s ready to use. If you are going to use it later cool down and put it into a bottle or a jug. It should keep well for a few days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Note:

  • If you think your anchovy smells overly fishy, you can stir fry it in a pan (without any oil) for a few minutes or microwave it (under 1 mins – this is my guess only). This is recommended by the dried anchovy manufacturer. However, I didn’t think it was necessary for my recipe above.
  • If you have a specific dietary requirement, you could choose one ingredients over the other. For vegetarian stock, use dried kelp only. This stock is called Dashima Yuksu (다시마 육수). Also alternatively, you could only use dried anchovy and this stock is called Myeolchi Yuksu(멸치 육수).
  • Do not over boil the dried kelp as it can become slimy and bitter.


How to Make Korean Style Dashi (Dried Kelp and Dried Anchovy Stock) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

How to Make Korean Style Dashi

Korean soup base (dashi stock) recipe
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 10kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 10 g dried kelp or Japanese kombu (0.4 ounces), I buy pre-cut dried kelp. Each kelp piece is about 6.5cm x 4.5cm (or 2.6 inch x 1.8 inch)
  • 30 g dried anchovy (1.1 ounces), It’s about 20 medium sized dried anchovies.

Instructions

  • Gently wipe dried kelp with a wet kitchen towel/kitchen paper to remove any debris or dust. (You can skip this step if you’re short on time.)
  • Soak the dried kelp in the water (6 cups) in a sauce pan for 1 hour. (You can do this overnight if you can afford the time for an even deeper flavor. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, skip this step.)
  • Remove the head and the black innards of the anchovy. Put the cleaned anchovy into a spice ball/large tea ball strainer. (If you don’t have this strainer, skip this. But it makes the cleaning process a lot neater.)
  • Add the anchovy filled spice ball into the sauce pan (from step 2). Alternatively, if you skipped step 2, add the water. Then boil the kelp and the anchovy for 10 mins on medium low heat.
  • 10 mins later, remove the kelp (with some tongs) and boil the anchovy for another 10 mins on low heat.
  • Remove the anchovy ball and sieve the stock through kitchen muslin cloth to catch any leftover kelp or anchovy particles. Now it’s ready to use. If you are going to use it later cool down and put it into a bottle or a jug. It should keep well for a few days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Calories: 10kcal | Protein: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 28mg | Calcium: 2.6% | Iron: 1.8%
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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29 thoughts on “How to Make Korean Style Dashi Stock”

  1. Hi Sue,
    I am so thankful that you shared an AUTHENTIC recipe, and not something “adapted” for non-Koreans! I do not see the point in changing an authentic recipe. Fortunately, I have access to all the ingredients in your recipes- fresh anchovies (they are delicious grilled, too!), Kombu, etc. We have some great asian markets here. Thanks again, I LOVE your recipes- making the Bulgogi Jeongol tomorrow.
    Thanks,
    Angela

  2. hi sue! are you aware of any types of places that may sell the stocks pre made? the idea of touching anchovies to me is so icky but i am dying to make my own teobokki the 100% authentic way because i spend so much money buying it from restaurants. Would a Korean or Chinese market sell some or something somewhat close to it perhaps?

    • Hi Mandy, You can buy pre-packaged (in a tea bag) ground stock ingredients from a Korean grocer. It is certainly more convenient to use. Good luck hunting! 🙂

  3. Hi, I understand it’s not the same thing, but can you use Japanese dashi powder to replace this stock? I can’t get a hold of the ingredients to make this where I live, so I’m hoping to find some sort of alternative.

    • If that’s the only option available, I would use it. (Also, there’s Korean version of dashi powder too, so see if you can find it instead.)

  4. Hi, I’ve never heard of soaking the dried kelp in water for an hour (or overnight). So this won’t make the kelp slimy? only boiling over 10 mins will make it bitter/slimy? Sorry so many questions, this part always made me wonder why I’m not supposed to overcook the kelp. I always figured boiling it for 20mins would give me more flavor.

    What exactly does soaking it in water overnight do?

    • I think the bitterness and sliminess is to do with the hot water temperature. I was told that if you boil the dried kelp too long, it produces a bitter taste / slimy texture. So you’re only to boil the kelp until the water starts boiling.

      That’s why I believe steeping dried kelp prior to boiling is recommended to enhance the stock flavor because just boiling it until the water starts boiling may not get the full umami flavor.

      That being said, I frequently skip the steeping part and jump to step 4 – boiling. And, it’s been sufficient for my needs. Hope this helps!

  5. hello Sue ! LOVE your blog, I always come to find great recipes and advice here when cooking any korean dishes. thank you for sharing 🙂
    I have made dashi like this, would like to know if it´s also good to replace dried anchovy for dried shrimp ? would that work as well?

    • Hi Micaela, dried shrimp is a common dashi ingredient. But I haven’t seen it being used alone. It’s normally used in conjunction with dried anchovy and/or dried kelp. Also, other common dashi ingredients are dried shiitake mushrooms and Korean/daikon radish. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Carnette, Do you mean dried seaweed such as korean miyeok / japanese wakame? Or gim / nori? If it’s latter I would say no. But if it’s former, I’m not sure. It’s uncommon to make a soup stock with it. If you’re willing to experiment with it, let us know how you go. 🙂

  6. Hi Sue,

    Is this Dashi good for Toddler? My daughter doesn’t like to eat fish or meat, so I’m thinking to make these kind of soup for her, just add some veggies. Can I also have your instagram to follow?

  7. Hi Sue =) Do you know if not removing the head and black innards of the dried anchovies will take away from the stock? I’m just imagining being too lazy to do this. =P

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Theresa, A very good question! I think the soup gets bitter if you don’t remove the head and innards. Particularly the innards! (This is a common Korean wives’ tale.) Trust me, handling the anchovies don’t take too long. Can be done within a minute or two!

      If anything, you can skip step 1 and 2 of this recipe. I do that all the time. 🙂

  8. Hi~ I’m Korean guy live in Bundang.
    Accidentally I reached this site.. or fortunately? 🙂

    Any way..
    I research Korean dishes like you.
    My main job is marketing and take a picture, video.
    But cooking is most proficient job to me.

    I don’t boiled kelp but only soak in water.
    and fried anchovies without oils. Because of remove of fishy smell. It’s also effective to enrich taste of anchovy. But I don’t think it’s the only correct answer…

    If you use Instagram, plz add my insta account.
    ☆ leo_thesoillion☆
    It means “흙사자 레오”.

    See you later..

  9. Hi Sue! Absolutely love your site. I’ve made this soup and it turned out great. I’m wondering if I could use anchovy powder with kelp instead of real anchovys. Would that work and any advice on the quantity to use? Thank you!

    • Thanks Samantha! Yes, You can use anchovy powder instead. I used to use anchovy powder and kelp powder as stock base a very long time ago. (I don’t do this anymore as I prefer “real thing” now) 🙂 In terms of the quantity, I can’t give you the exact number without trying it myself. You will have to experiment it. Though I don’t think you would use a lot since the powder is concentrated version of anchovy. 🙂

  10. hi Sue! i should try to make this, you make it looks easy.
    but one thing that i concern is how to store the leftover stock?
    thank you 🙂

    • Thanks echa, I normally store it in an air tight glass container and keep it in the fridge. It lasts for a few days (3 to 4 days at least) in the fridge but you can also store it longer in the freezer, if necessary. I hope you like it! 🙂

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