Katsuobushi – Dried Fish Shavings

Katsuobushi (鰹節, かつおぶし) is an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It is made my drying bonito fish into hard blocks then using a special shaving tool to create delicate shavings from the blocks. Katsuobushi and seaweed are the main ingredients of dashi, or fish stock, but the flakes are used as a topping or filling in many other dishes.

There is no good substitution for the texture, but if you are using it for a stock, you can use fresh tuna instead for a similar taste. It can be sold in individual serving pouches or in a big bag, and can be labeled as katsuobushi or bonito on the packaging. Since it’s a dried good, it keeps for a long time, so its a good thing to buy in bulk!

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