Make healthy soup stock with vegetable scraps

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Clockwise from left: Vegetable broth, cream stew, and fried eggs with sweet and sour sauce

The Yomiuri ShimbunKombu and bonito flakes are well-known ingredients for making dashi stock. According to cooking expert Shiori Setoguchi, however, vegetable scraps are ideal dashi ingredients as the nutrition of the vegetables is concentrated in the broth. Also, by using parts that are otherwise often discarded, you avoid wasting any parts of the vegetables.

Vegetable stock is also good for making various kinds of dishes, she said.

“Vegetable scraps are rich ingredients that provide antioxidants for your body. They also produce delicious dashi and are too good to be discarded,” Setoguchi said.

Any vegetables that taste good when simmered are suitable for vegetable stock, she said, giving the examples of carrot tops and skin, the end of gobo burdock, and the green part of naganegi onion.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Vegetable scraps are placed in a pot.

“Cabbage, nanohana field mustard and broccoli all have distinctive smells, so whether those vegetables suit dashi is up to you,” she added.

But she warned against using poisonous parts such as potato sprouts.

Setoguchi rinses her leftover vegetable parts under running water and stores them in a container in the refrigerator or freezer until they reach a certain level. Just a few kinds of vegetables are enough to make a tasty dashi, she said.

Making vegetable stock

Soak a piece of kombu in 1 liter of water overnight. Pour the kombu-infused water into a large pot and add the vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the temperature. Add 1 tablespoon of sake and a few pinches of salt and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain broth from the vegetables.

Chopping up the vegetables before boiling gives a fuller flavor, but the broth won’t be clear, so choose whichever method you prefer, Setoguchi said.

The broth contains the aroma and flavor of vegetables and tastes just like consomme. It should be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Setoguchi shared two recipes using this dashi as a base.

Omelet with sweet-and-sour sauce

“Veggie stock has a subtle bitterness, which goes well with sour flavors,” she said.

This recipe uses the stock to make a thick sweet-and-sour sauce that is then served with an omelet.

Crack the eggs in a bowl, add several pinches of salt and pepper and beat well.

Put stock, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and potato starch into a small pan. Stir well before heating over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low once the stock comes to a boil and turn off the heat when it starts to thicken.

Add 1½ tablespoons of oil to a heated frying pan. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and cook until still a little runny.

Serve the omelet on a plate and pour the dashi-based sauce over it.

The sauce has a strong savory flavor and is also good over fried chicken or agedashi tofu.

Cod, potato cream soup

Kombu-based veggie stock can be turned into a Western-style stock by adding celery scraps and bay leaf. These ingredients make the soup stock taste more refreshing. It can also be used to make curry or stew.

Peel the potatoes and cut in half. Slice a portion of cod into four pieces.

Put the potatoes, a ¼teaspoon of salt and the Western-style broth into a pot and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Turn the heat to low once the soup starts to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the cod when the potato becomes soft and simmer for about 8 minutes.

Add the milk and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Add a pinch of black pepper.

The vegetables’ nutrition is concentrated in this soup, and you do not need to add other ingredients. It is a great comfort food for the coming cold season.


Vegetable stock

250 grams vegetable scraps (skin, seeds, pulp, core, stem), such as from carrots, daikon, onions, kabocha pumpkin, corn, shiitake mushroom

7-centimeter-long piece of kombu

1 tbsp sake

A few pinchs of salt

*Add celery scraps and 1 bay leaf for Western-style broth

Omelet with sweet-and-sour sauce

(Serves 2)

2-3 eggs

100cc vegetable stock

1½ tbsp vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

½ tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp potato starch

1½ tbsp cooking oil

Pinches of salt and papper

Cod, potato cream soup

(Serves 2)

2 cod fillets

3 small potatoes

100cc milk

400cc vegetable stock

Flat-leaf parsley, as desired

¼tsp salt

A pinch of black pepperSpeech

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