Chaga-Dashi Sipping Broth

Chaga-Dashi Sipping Broth
Chaga is also a mushroom that gets a lot of attention as a miracle cure for any number of ailments.
I mostly disregard the hype, as I don’t believe in miracle super foods. I do however believe that incorporating some traditional health foods can be beneficial to your diet and overall well-being.
I also tend to only eat things that I like the flavour of, and I do happen to like the earthy, slightly bitter coffee tones of this mushroom!
Chaga grows predominantly on birch trees in northern climates and comes out as a dark black woody growth, like the one seen in the photo here. It’s usually harvested with a rock, saw, or axe, as it tends to cling tenaciously to the tree and is rock hard. I found this out the hard way after trying to karate chop one off a tree last year. Talk about a bruise!
chaga mushroom growing on birch tree
Since eating chaga would be more akin to chewing on a stick than a white button mushroom, it’s mostly used in tea-like preparations. It’s been used like this as a folk remedy in Russia and Northern Europe for many many years. It was generally thought to help with immunity from sickness and to reduce swelling and inflammation.
It’s worth noting that chaga is being over-harvested, which is leading to it becoming rarer and rarer, maybe even on the path to being endangered. If you do intend on harvesting some, do so very judiciously, taking a small amount and moving on. Remember also that science hasn’t been able to back up many of the health claims, and like I said before, it’s not a miracle food. I do enjoy cutting the tea into my morning coffee though, especially in the winter.
I also see myself making more soups like this out of it!
  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time2 hr 30 min
  • Total Time2 hr 40 min
  • Yield8 cups


  • 1/2 cup chaga, broken into very small pieces
  • 8 cups (2L) water
  • 1oz (28g) kombu seaweed
  • 1/2oz (14g) bonito flakes (katsuobushi) 
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Honey, birch syrup, or maple syrup to sweeten



Add chaga chunks to a large pot. 

Cover with 8 cups of water and slowly bring to a simmer. 

Simmer on very low for 2 hours. 


Add the kombu and keep at a bare simmer for 15 minutes. 

Take off the heat and add the bonito flakes. Let steep for 15 minutes. 


Pass everything through a fine meshed strainer and discard the solids. 

Add the salt and sweetener in small amounts, tasting as you go. You’re looking for a well-balanced flavour with some gentle bitterness, a touch of sweetness, and some umami. Enjoy! 

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