"Dashi is an essential broth base for most Japanese dishes and can be purchased in most Asian Grocery stores. For those of you who want to do it from scratch there are several recipes out there, but I find this one is easiest. This recipe uses Konbu (also spelled Kombu), a variety of dried edible kelp that is harvested off the coast of Hokkaido and as far south as the Seto sea. This is a good vegetarian broth and enhances the subtle flavor of Japanese cuisine. It is also a bit friendlier to the western chef than katsubuoshi, which is made from dried fish flakes and can b very aromatic."