What Is Hondashi and How Is It Used?

What Is Hondashi?

Hondashi is flavor seasoning (dashi granules) that is manufactured and sold by Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

Ajinomoto Co., Inc. is the first company that sold umami seasoning called “ajinomoto” in Japan.
Hondashi actually contains a little bit of this umami seasoning. It also contains salt and sugar.

Most importantly, the main ingredient is certainly soup stock made from bonito, kombu, or other materials.
By the way, I will explain the different types of hondashi on the next paragraph.

Moreover, the feature is that it is very useful for cooking because the granules easily dissolves in hot water.

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Different Types of Hondashi

In addition to the basic hondashi with bonito flavor, there are various types of hondashi on the market.

Here is the list of various types of hondashi flavor.

・Kombu (kelp)
・Mix (bonito + kombu)

・Iriko (small dried sardine)
・Flying fish
・Rich (bonito + flying fish + mackerel + kombu + shiitake)

Besides the difference in raw materials, there are also products with special ingenuity as shown below.

The flavor is the basic bonito. But, this is dashi granules with plenty of calcium made from bonito bones.

Ajinomoto Co., Inc. have a special technique to reduce salt while retaining its deliciousness. They have succeeded in reducing salt by 60%. In addition, it uses a large amount of 3 types of bonito dashi to create rich but salt-reduced dashi.

What Does Hondashi Taste Like?

As you can expect, the different flavor of hondashi have different taste.

However, their common point is that all of them have deep umami taste depending on the raw material. Also, they are extremely rich in fragrance.

Although it contains salt and sugar, those tastes are not that strong. Rather than that, you would feel the taste of the dashi stock directly.

What Hondashi Is Made of?

What are the ingredients of hondashi?
To make it clear, I will write out the ingredients of hondashi that is released by ajinomoto.

Ingredients of Hondashi
・Bonito powder
・Bonito extract
・Yeast extract
・Wheat protein fermented seasoning
・Yeast extract fermented seasoning
・Umami seasoning

Furthermore, above are ingredients that are contained in bonito flavor of hondashi. So, other type of hondashi should contain slightly different ingredients.

How Do You Use Hondashi Powder?

Basically, hondashi is used in combination with other seasonings, for example, soy sauce and miso paste.
It matches so well with any flavor, and brings out the taste of the dish amazingly.

You can certainly make any dish with hondashi. But, I would like to give you some examples that Japanese people often make at home.

Miso soup

You can make miso soup just by mixing hondashi and miso paste. Miso soup without dashi actually doesn’t taste good. But, it’s a hassle to make dashi from scratch, right? Hondashi is essential for Japanese people who make miso soup almost every day.

Simmered dishes

Japanese people often make simmered foods using seasonal vegetables, fish, or meat. The main seasoning for that is usually soy sauce, and sometimes miso paste. As with miso soup, hondashi is crucial ingredient for simmered dishes too.

Japanese mixed rice (takikomi-gohan)

If you put washed rice, favorite vegetables, some seasonings, and hondashi in rice cooker, you can enjoy great taste of mixed rice. Hondashi always gives an exquisite flavor.

Japanese-style pasta

If you are tired of making normal pasta sauce, it’s time to try to make Japanese-style of it by using hondashi.
You only need butter, soy sauce, and hondashi for seasoning. It will be simple, but absolutely delicious pasta indeed.

Hot pot dishes

Hot pot dishes are very popular especially in winter season.
Mille-feuille hot pot is one of the easiest one. To make this, you need to put Chinese cabbage and boneless pork ribs in a pot depositing alternating layers like a mille-feuille. After that, put hondashi, cover, and simmer.
A lot of water comes out from Chinese cabbage, and becomes seriously delicious soup. Umami taste will be maximized by the hondashi.

In conclusion, you can experience the great taste of hondashi with so many kinds of dishes.

Please try to sprinkle some hondashi on your favorite dish! You must love the umami taste of it!


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