Glossary - Ingredients

Katsuobushi/bonito flakes


A preserved food with condensed umami that is indispensable in Japanese cuisine.  Delicious as a base for "dashi"


Preserved bonito made by boiling the fish and introducing a specific mold to mature it properly, then drying it out time and again. "Katsuobushi" (bonito flakes) are shaved thin, then used to make dashi, or eaten on tofu or white rice. Though previously sold in mass that each household would shave down using their own shavers at home, nowadays they are mostly sold in shaved form.


Bonito flakes are high in inosinic acid which is what is said to provide the umami flavor. As the raw ingredient is bonito, it is also high in protein.


Store away from high heat and humidity. The flakes will start oxidizing from the moment the package is opened, so seal them in an airtight container and then keep in a refrigerator or freezer to preserve flavor.


Dashi broth made from bonito flakes is rich in protein. It can be reused as a flavorful seasoning, or furikake, sprinkled on rice.


When making dashi broth with bonito flakes, ensure the broth is cooked at over 85°C. Colder water will only serve to enhance the bitter flavors.

Cooking Basics

Here, we introduce the recipes for cooking this ingredient.

Dashi (bonito) prepared using a tea strainer

This method is convenient for preparing small amounts of dashi, such as soup for one person, ohitashi (boiled vegetables seasoned with dashi and soy sauce), sesame dressing, etc. Place dried bonito flakes (about 5 g /0.2 oz.) into a tea strainer and pour in 200 ml (6.8 fl. oz.) of hot water.

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