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Japanese Katsuobushi (what is dried tuna flakes and what is it for)

katsuobushi recipe bonito flakes

If you are experiencing the Japanese cuisine I’m sure you’ve already come across a recipe that includes katsuobushibecause it is one of the fundamental ingredients of Japanese gastronomy, but… are you clear about what it is and what it tastes like?

He katsuobushi along with kombu seaweed is the main ingredient of dashi broth, the base of many traditional Japanese dishes. But it is also used as a topping, were you ever surprised to see some moving “scales” on top of the okonomiyaki or some other dish? Well, it’s about the katsuobushiof which we will reveal all the secrets below.

What is katsuobushi?

As we have said, it is a essential ingredient of Japanese cuisine, and it is elaborated from bonito (a type of tuna) which goes through a process smoked, dried and fermented.

The result is a compact block of dried and smoked tunaand traditionally used that way, scales were removed as needed with an instrument similar to a carpenter’s plane called katsuobushi kezurikibut today the katsuobushi is already sold in flakes.

When the chips are cut thicker they are called kezurikatsuoand they are the ones that are usually used to make the dashithe broth used as the base for many Japanese dishes, such as ramen, he udon and the soba. If the chips are cut thin they are called hanakatsuo and are used as a seasoning or condiment for dishes such as okonomiyaki or the takoyaki.

When added hanakatsuo As a dressing on a hot dish, the steam has the effect of making the chips move as if they were dancing, creating the effect we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Recipes with katsuobushi

What does katsuobushi taste like?

We cannot tell you in Spanish, because this flavor only exists in Japanese and you have surely heard of it: the umami taste.

umami means “tasty” is one of the basic flavors along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. it’s a taste subtle but long taste and hard to describe. In itself it is not tasty, but it enhances the pleasant flavor of a large number of foods.

Responsible for the umami taste of katsuobushi is one of its components, inosinic acid.

How Japanese Dried Tuna Flakes Are Made

The elaboration of katsuobushi It is a laborious and traditional process that involves smoking and drying fresh tuna in the open air, after which it is fermented to intensify its flavor and aroma. It is then pressed into blocks and cut into fine flakes.

Where to buy katsuobushi

You can buy dried bonito flakes in Asian product stores, in large supermarkets and of course online. We leave you some options:

Katsuobushi (dried and smoked tuna flakes) 40 g

Katsuobushi (dried and smoked tuna flakes)…


Dried Bonito in Flakes Clean and Pure 125 Grams |  Whole Katsuobushi |  Atlantic Natural Tuna:...

Dried Bonito in Flakes Clean and Pure 125 Grams |…


Recipes with katsuobushi

Takoyaki (Japanese octopus balls)

takoyaki recipe

The takoyaki They are balls of dough stuffed with octopus and other ingredients, such as pickled ginger (kizami shōga) and tempura crumbs (tenkasu). are served with takoyaki sauceJapanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi and algae aonori above.

see recipe

In PequeRecipes

Takoyaki (what it is and how to make Japanese octopus balls)


how to make rice onigiri recipe -

The onigiri they are very famous and hardly need an introduction. If you like sushi, you’ve probably already tried them. They can be filled with various fillings, our favorite is the one with smoked salmon and our tuna flakes, among other ingredients.

see recipe

how to make japanese onigiri recipe

In PequeRecipes

How to make ONIGIRI (Japanese stuffed rice balls)

Okonomiyaki (Japanese omelette)

how to make okonomiyaki or japanese omelette

Although it is often known in the West as “Japanese pizza”, the okonomiyaki it is more like an omelette. Its name literally means, “whatever you want on the grill”, because the ingredients can be varied, adding what we like to the basic ones that are eggs, flour, cabbage, sauces and katsuobushi like topping.

see recipe

In PequeRecipes

How to make OKONOMIYAKI (Japanese omelette)


yakisoba recipe

The yakisoba They are fried noodles, which although they originate from China (there they are called chow mein)They are also part of the Japanese gastronomic culture. They are wheat flour noodles, which are fried together with some meat or seafood and vegetables, and are served accompanied by yakisoba sauce and are usually sprinkled with nori seaweed powder and katsuobushi.

see recipe

yakisoba sauce

In PequeRecipes

How to make homemade yakisoba

Miso soup

vegan miso soup

The Miso soup It is a characteristic Japanese dish, and its base is the dashi broth that we have already talked about, which is made with katsuobushi and kombu. In addition to the broth, the miso soup has miso paste, tofu, wakame seaweed, spring onions and if you fancy soba noodles.

see recipe

miso soup recipe

In PequeRecipes

Japanese Miso soup (traditional recipe)

You already know everything you need about the famous Japanese dried bonito flakes, now all you have to do is enjoy its umami flavor in your recipes.

The entry Japanese Katsuobushi (what is dried tuna flakes and what is it for) was first published on PequeRecetas

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