Katsuobushi Bonito Flakes
Katsuobushi (along with the dried seaweed kombu) is the main ingredient of dashi, the broth that forms the basis of many soups and sauces in Japanese cooking. It consists of fermented, dried skipjack tuna, and a pack of katsuobushi will be found in most Japanese kitchens as it is one of the basic ‘building blocks’ of Japanese cuisine. Its flavour is one of intense umami, and it lends this quality to any dish it is used in. Apart from dashi it is frequently used in other dishes as a garnish, seasoning or topping. When finely chopped and dressed with soy sauce it is used as a topping for rice and bento, and can be an ingredient in furikake (the popular rice seasoning), and it is also common combined with sesame seeds and chopped seaweed on top of cold soba noodles. Katsuobushi’s umami blast will lift any dish it is used in, and if you are a fan of Japanese flavours it is an essential spice cupboard item.