Substitute for smoked bonito: dashi broth

I like the umami flavor of dashi.

However, I think I am allergic to the charcoal or wood used in Japan to smoke bonito. I get an itch when I have dashi or dried bonito flakes, but not if I eat unsmoked bonito fish.

What’s a good substitute for bonito flakes?

There are different types of dashi, some that don’t use katsuobushi:

Kombu dashi for example only uses kombu. Another alternative is niboshi dashi which uses dried sardines.

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Does it have to be dashi? If not then try dried shrimp and/or dried squid. Loads of umami in these 2 ingredients. Very common in S.E. Asian (home-style) cookery.

Mackerel powder is the closest, but you can have the same problem with the wood used for smoking. How about baby anchovies (iriko) or the dried fish (niboshi) you find in Japanese stores, they can be even more intense in unami, some dashi recipes use them.

Other substitute can be nori, kombu, and dried shiitake. They are used in vegetarian dashi.

Thank you.

How about Italian anchovies in oil? I will rid the fish of oil before making dashi with it.

I wouldn’t use anything oily - even formerly oily - in dashi. And I’d go for something dried. Kombu works well. And before I had that on hand, I salt-cured some roe (I forget why - I guess I needed a project) and used that, because I had a lot.