Maybe you’ve never heard of Dried Bonito Flakes before, but chances are, if you like Japanese cuisine, you’ve already tasted them! Especially if you partake in a bowl of miso soup when you’re dining out at a Japanese restaurant.
Bonito flakes come from tuna which gets cooked right after being fished from the water. By doing this, it brings out the incredibly unique and natural flavors of the fish. It is then allowed to cool, and once that happens, it hangs to dry in the sun. From there, it endures smoking followed by steaming until it becomes stiff. The tuna then hangs on a rack for months to ferment. After that, the flaking process begins using a device the Japanese call katsuo keruzi-ki.
One of the many ways Dried Bonito Flakes are used is in Dashi stock, the base for miso soup. If you like to cook Japanese food, having Dashi stock on hand is very helpful. Making Dashi from scratch, using Dried Bonito Flakes, helps you achieve an authentic Japanese taste which is incredibly tasty.
Dried Bonito Flakes are very versatile and can be used in a variety of Japanese dishes. Try making them in savory pancakes known as okonomiyaki, fill up rice balls or onigiri as well as add texture to sushi rolls! Of course, you can use it to infuse other cuisines to bring a new element of umami (what the Japanese call a harmony of the flavors of food) to your table.Some out-of-the-box ideas for using dried bonito flakes are to top scrambled eggs with them, add them to congee for a new dimension of flavor, give nachos an Asian flair by sprinkling them on top, add it to pizza, or even mix into a tuna salad. If you’ve never tried cooking with Dried Bonito Flakes, just remember that they will impart a bit of saltiness to your dish so watch out for adding any other salty elements to the dishes you prepare in combination with them!