Ajinomoto Hondashi vs. Dashi vs. Shiro Dashi

When it comes to Japanese soup stock or Dashi, in addition to regular Dashi and Shiro Dashi, there is one more popular Dashi in Japan, and that is Hondashi (ほんだし).

As you may already know, it is correctly a product of seasoning mix from the Japanese food company Ajinomoto (味の素).

Hondashi vs. Dashi vs. Shiro Dashi

The relationship between Ajinomoto Hondashi and Dashi is similar to that of Kikkoman’s Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ) and Mentsuyu.

But how does the former Dashi product differ from regular Dashi stock and Shiro Dashi? I researched that today, so here, I will share the result.

Dashi (出汁/だし)

Dashi Soup Stock

First, as I wrote in this article, there are two types of Dashi in Japanese food culture; Dashi (出汁) and Dashi (だし). 

The former Dashi (出汁) is soup stock extracted by boiling ingredients, such as Kombu seaweed and Katsuobushi dried bonito flakes, in water. This one is commonly used in households around the country.

On the other hand, the latter Dashi (だし) is the Kansai-style liquid soup base made by combining Dashi (出汁) (primarily from Kombu) with light-colored soy sauce.

In addition to being prepared to make the broth of Japanese noodles, both Dashi can form the base of various Japanese dishes.

Shiro Dashi (白だし)

Shiro Dashi

Next, Shiro Dashi is a broth made from Dashi (出汁) (from ingredients such as Kombu and Katsuobushi) mixed with seasonings such as white soy sauce, light-colored soy sauce, mirin, and sun-dried salt.

Shiro Dashi is a versatile, multipurpose liquid seasoning with an elegant flavor favored by professional Japanese chefs.

Like Mentsuyu, this Dashi is diluted with water according to its use. One primary merit of using Shiro Dashi is that it can make the most of the original color of food materials thanks to its light clear hue.

Hondashi (ほんだし)

Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder

According to the official site of Ajinomoto, Hondashi is a powdered soup stock made with three different varieties of Katsuobushi flakes rich in fragrance, body, and taste.

As with regular Dashi stock, you can use these granules in a wide range of dishes.

Ajinomoto Hondashi

Lastly, for those who want to find out more about Ajinomoto Hondashi, here is the in-depth information.


Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder Ingredients

First, based on the ingredient list, the Ajinomoto Hondashi powder consists of 

Salt, Sugars (Sugar, Milk sugar), Flavoring (Katsuobushi powder, Bonito extract), Yeast extract, Fermented wheat protein, Fermented yeast extract, Seasoning (including Amino acid)


Basically, add the Hondashi powder to the water before simmering the ingredients. But if you want to give a dish, like Suimono soup, a clear fragrance of Katsuobushi, add the granules as a finishing touch.

For Dashi Stock

Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder Instructions 1

  • If you want to make 4 servings of Dashi stock, add 4 grams of Hondashi powder to a pot of 600 ml water (hot or cold) and heat it.

For Dishes

Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder Instructions 2

  • For Miso Soup (4 Servings): combine 4 grams of Hondashi powder with 600 ml water, and 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of miso
  • For Nimono (2 Servings): combine 1 teaspoon Hondashi powder with 200 ml water, 2 tablespoons sake rice wine, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), and 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For Mixed Rice (4 Servings) or Takikomi Gohan: combine 1 teaspoon Hondashi powder with 1 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons mirin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 300 grams of rice
  • For the broth of Udon or Soba (2 Servings): combine 2/3 teaspoon Hondashi powder with 600 ml water, 50 ml soy sauce, and 50 ml mirin
  • For the broth of Oden (4 Servings): combine 1 and 1/2 tablespoon Hondashi powder with 1600 ml water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons mirin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

4 Responses

  1. dawa says:

    thanks for your recipe

  2. Nanci says:

    Hello (Konnichiwa),
    Is there a low sodium broth or what is the lowest sodium broth I can be using?
    Thank you.

    • Tomo says:

      Konnnichiwa, thank you for the comment!
      Yes, many Japanese dashi broth mixes, including Ajinomoto Hondashi, are also available in low and no sodium versions.
      “低塩 (Tei-En)” or “減塩 (Gen-En)” stands for “low sodium” versions, while “無塩 (Mu-En)” means containing no salt in the dashi broth. If you search for “低塩出汁” or “無塩出汁” on Amazon Japan, many results pop up! But I don’t know if they are available outside of Japan…

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