Hondashi vs Dashi vs Shiro Dashi : What is the difference?

The other day, I explained the difference between Shiro Dashi and Mentsuyu and the difference between Mentsuyu, Tsuyu and Dashi.

When it comes to the Japanese Dashi soup base, there is one more famous Dashi in Japan in addition to general Dashi and Shiro Dashi. That is “Hondashi (ほんだし)”.

As you may already know, Hondashi is a product of seasoning powder from “Ajinomoto (味の素)”, a leading Japanese food maker well-known for its umami seasoning (

Actually, the relationship of the Ajinomoto’s seasoning Hondashi and Dashi is similar to the one between Mentsuyu and Kikkoman’s “Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ)”.

The Difference between Dashi, Hondashi and Shiro Dashi

Then, what is the difference between Dashi, Hondashi and Shiro Dashi? Today, I researched about the difference, so I want to talk about it.

Dashi (出汁, だし)

As I wrote about it before, there are 2 types of Dashi in Japanese cuisine, “Dashi (出汁)” and “Dashi (だし)”.

The former, Dashi (出汁) is the soup stock taken from ingredients such as Kombu seaweed, Katsuobushi (鰹節 : dried bonito flakes), and Niboshi (煮干し : dried sardines). It is a common soup stock widely used throughout Japan.

On the other hand, the latter, Dashi (だし)” is the Kansai-style liquid soup base made with Dashi (出汁), light-colored soy sauce, sugar, Sake rice wine and Mirin sweet cooking rice wine.

Both Dashi form the base for various kinds of Japanese dishes in addition to being prepared for noodle soups.

Hondashi (ほんだし)

Ajinomoto Hon Dashi Soup Stock

According to Ajinomoto’s official website, Hondashi is made with 3 different types of Katsuobushi rich in smell, body, and flavor respectively.

It is a powdered soup stock containing salt, sugar, milk sugar, Katsuobushi extract and powdered Katsuobushi, yeast extract, fermented wheat protein, fermented yeast extract, and amino acids.

Like general Dashi soup stock, Hondashi can be used for a wide range of Japanese dishes.

It is usually added to hot water before ingredients are simmered, but if you want to make a dish with a good aroma of Katsuobushi, like Suimono soup, it is better to add the Hondashi powder as a final touch.

Shiro Dashi (白だし)

Shiro Dashi is the light-colored Japanese soup stock made combining Dashi (出汁) taken from ingredients, such as Kombu, Katsuobushi and Shiitake mushrooms, with seasonings such as white soy sauce, light-colored soy sauce, Mirin, and sun-dried salt.

Like Mentsuyu, Shiro Dashi is diluted with water according to the use. It is an all-purpose liquid seasoning with a delicate flavor that is loved by professional Japanese chefs.

One of the merits of using Shiro Dashi is that it can make the most of the original color of food materials thanks to its light color.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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