- What’s Katsuobushi
The katsuo is a pelagic species of fish that is commonly found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide. It is known by its English common name, skipjack tuna (scientific name: katsuwonus pelamis), and sometimes also referred to as bonito.
The katsuo can grow to be as large as one meter, but is mostly caught when it is 50 centimeters. The katsuo's body is spindle-shaped, with a deep indigo blue back and silvery white flank and stomach. Dark vertical stripes develop on its stomach upon death.
In Japan, the katsuo inhabits the waters off the Pacific coast. Migratingnorth on the Black Current in spring, and moving south in autumn, it can be caught in various areas of Japan. Therefore, it has been a part of the Japanese people's diet from ancient times.
The katsuo is enjoyed as sashimi, or seared and served with herbs. Canned katsuo cooked in soy sauce and sugar is also commonly sold in Japan.
A Traditional Gift for Celebrations
Katsuobushi has traditionally been sent in return for various gifts, such as wedding gifts, baby gifts, gifts for children starting school, and gifts to celebrate recovery from illness.
This is because the obushi (back side) and mebushi (stomach side) fit perfectly together, like a close couple. The two parts locked together resemble a tortoise shell, a symbol of long life. Alternatively written 勝男武士 , which stands for "winning samurai," katsuobushi ( 鰹節 ) has long been believed to bring good luck.
Katsuobushi is a fermented food product unique to Japan. Fine shavings dressed with a dash of soy sauce can be an excellent side dish alone, or can be served as toppings for tofu and ohitashi (seasoned boiled greens) to complement their flavor. Most importantly, dashi soup stock made using katsuobushi shavings has formed the basis of Japanese cuisine, just as fond and bouillon have in Western cuisine, and tang, in Chinese cuisine.
Katsuobushi is a key ingredient in healthy, savory and highly diversified Japanese cuisine.
A hard wood-like block of katsuobushi must be shaved into kezuribushi (bonito flakes) using a special plane-like instrument every time it is needed in cooking.
Although individually-packed ready-to-eat kezuribushi has become mainstream, if you keep katsuobushi tightly packed in a plastic bag in the freezer, you can enjoy the aroma and savor of freshly shaved katsuobushi for a long time.
When it comes to a boil turn off the stove.
Put 30 grams of kezuribushi In to the boiling water.
Wait about 1 to 2 minutes.
Drain the dashi using a piece a cloth and wait one minute.
A pan of savory dashi !
Reference : Nihon Katsuobushi Kyoukai, Tokyo Katsuobushi rui Oroshi Shogyou Kyoudou Kumiai