What are Bonito flakes?
Until recently they were a mystery to me, here's what I found
Bonito flakes are widely popular in Japan, their birthplace. What are they and how are they made? I discovered what makes these little things so special.
'Bonito Flakes' are a version of the Japanese delicacy called 'Katsuobushi' which is described as dried, fermented, smoked skipjack tuna. The main difference between the two is the price: due to skipjack tuna's high cost, Bonito flakes are a cheaper alternative as they use bonito fish instead. Both options are regularly used in the widely popular traditional cuisine of 'dash' in Japan.
Bonito flakes are created in a seven step process:
.Cut the fish
.Place the fish in a boiling basket (Nikago)
.Boil the fish for two hours
.Remove the fish bones
.Smoke the fish (repeated 10-15 times)
.Dry the fish
.Shave the fish to create those famous flakes
Do you cook with bonito flakes? What do you make?