Ajinomoto Hondashi vs Dashi vs Shiro Dashi

When it comes to Japanese dashi soup stock, in addition to regular dashi and Shiro Dashi, there is one more popular dashi in Japan. That is “Hondashi (ほんだし)”. As you may already know, it is correctly a product of seasoning mix from the leading Japanese food company “Ajinomoto (味の素)”.

The Difference: Dashi vs Shiro Dashi vs Ajinomoto Hondashi

Actually, the relationship between the Ajinomoto Hondashi and dashi is similar to that of Mentsuyu and Kikkoman’s “Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ)”. Then, what is the difference between normal dashi stock, Kikkoman Hondashi, and Shiro Dashi? Today, I did some online research about that, so I will share the result.

Dashi (出汁, だし)

Dashi Soup Stock

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 soup stock made from ingredients such as Kombu seaweed, Katsuobushi dried bonito flakes, and Niboshi dried sardines, which 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 seaweed with light-colored soy sauce. In addtion to being prepared for making the broth of Japanese noodle soups, both dashi form the base for various Japanese dishes.

Shiro Dashi (白だし)

Shiro Dashi

Next, Shiro Dashi is a light-colored soup stock made by combining “dashi (出汁)” 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.

Favored by professional Japanese chefs, Shiro Dashi is a versatile liquid seasoning with a refined flavor. Like Mentsuyu, it is diluted with water according to the 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 color.

Hondashi (ほんだし)

Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder

Lastly, according to the official website of Ajinomoto, Hondashi is a powdered soup stock mix made with 3 different varieties of Katsuobushi flakes rich in fragrance, body, and taste. As with regular dashi stock, the powder can be used in a wide range of dishes.

About Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder

For those of you who want to find out more about Ajinomoto Hondashi, here is the in-depth information.


Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder Ingredients

According to the ingredient list, the Ajinomoto Hondashi powder consists of salt, sugar, milk sugar, powdered Katsuobushi extract, yeast extract, fermented wheat protein, fermented yeast extract, and seasonings including amino acids.

How to Use (Instructions)

The Hondashi powder is usually added to water before ingredients are simmered, but if you want to give a dish, like Suimono soup, the good fragrance of Katsuobushi, add the seasoning mix 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): 4 g Hondashi powder, 600 ml water, 2 and 1/2 tablespoons miso
  • For Nimono (2 Servings): 1 teaspoon Hondashi powder, 200 ml water, 2 tablespoons sake rice wine, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin sweet cooking rice wine, 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For Cooked Rice (4 Servings): 1 teaspoon Hondashi powder, 1 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons mirin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 300 g rice
  • For the broth of Udon or Soba (2 Servings): 2/3 teaspoon Hondashi powder, 600 ml water, 50 ml soy sauce, 50 ml mirin
  • For the broth of Oden (4 Servings): 1 and 1/2 tablespoon Hondashi powder, 1600 ml water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons mirin, 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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