Nishimoto Dried Shaved Bonito Flakes

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Katsuobushi also known as okaka is the Japanese name for dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis). Young bonito has a similar color and texture and is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute for skipjack tuna, particularly in canned products, however not all countries allow marketing of bonito as skipjack tuna.


Shaved Katsuobushi and dried kelp - kombu - are the main ingredients of dashi, a broth that forms the basis of many soups (such as miso) and sauces (e.g., soba no tsukejiru) in Japanese cuisine.Katsuobushi's distinct umami flavor comes from its high inosinic acid content. Traditionally made katsuobushi, known as karebushi, is deliberately planted with Aspergillus glaucus fungus in order to reduce moisture.


Katsuobushi has also been shown to impart a kokumi flavour. Upon being placed on hot food, the heat waves causes the thin and light katsuobushi to move about, giving it a special aesthetic look. It is placed on pizzas to make the top of the pizza seem alive with the "dancing" katsuobushi.


In addition to making dashi, other popular uses of katsuobushi include:

  • Okaka finely chopped katsuobushi dressed with soy sauce.
  • As a stuffing for rice balls (onigiri).
  • As a topping for rice. Popular for bent??, often covered with nori.
  • Dried okaka is used as an ingredient of furikake rice topping (called "okaka furikake").
  • As a seasoning for cold tofu (hiyayakko, ??????) along with grated ginger and Welsh onion (a type of spring onion.)
  • Sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped nori atop cold soba noodles (zarusoba).
  • As a topping on takoyaki and okonomiyaki.
  • As a seasoning on century egg along with sesame oil and soy sauce.
  • As a high-protein treat for cats sold at pet stores.
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