This traditional Japanese clear broth is used extensively for soups, sauces, and as a delicate seasoning.

Makes: 4 cupsHands-on: 10 minutesTotal: 10 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Makes: 4 cups


  • 1 piece kelp (kombu), about 5" square
  • 5 cups cold water
  • ⅓ cup dried bonito flakes


  • Place the kelp and cold water in a soup pot; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the bonito flakes. Let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the kelp and discard. Strain the broth into a new container. Use it now, in any Japanese-inspired soup, or cool it to room temperature by immersing it in a bath of cold water, then refrigerate immediately. (This broth does not freeze well.)