5.29 OZ Dried Mackerel, Bonito, & Sardine Flakes
Bonito flakes "Katsuobushi" are almost rose-colored, finely shaved dried fish flakes that are made from the bonito, a member of the mackerel family. Fillets of fresh bonito are steamed, sun-dried and smoked over a wood fire until they are dry as wood with a petrified look.
The fillets are then shaved over a bladed wooden box. They can be used as a condiment on tofu, noodles, vegetables or grains; as a seasoning for soups, stews, bean dishes and noodle broths; or like a bouillon for rich sauces.
They are the primary flavoring for the Japanese fish broth "dashi" - especially "ichiban" and "niban" dashi. Of course the bonito is not the only fish that is steamed, sun-dried, smoked over a wood fire and then shaved. This treatment is also applied to mackerel and sardines.
Often the dried flakes of these three fish are mixed and sold for the same purpose. Shirakiku calls its mixture of dried bonito, mackerel and sardine flakes "Jikabiyaki Katsuo Iri Dashi Kezuri. These flakes are shaved a bit thicker than the normal katsuobushi and that means more flavor. The combination of the three different fish yields a more complex and flavorful broth, this makes them perfect for ichiban, niban and even niboshi dashi - the latter is typically made from dried sardines. They also perfect for making miso soup. And of course as with bonito flakes, they are great treats for cats. These flakes have 0 gr fat per serving and they are high in protein.
Ichiban dashi (makes 3 cups)
1 - piece kelp (about 5x10 cm / 2 x 4 inches)
3 - 3/4 cups water
1 - cups dried shaved fish flakes
1. Wipe kelp with a clean dry cloth, leaving as much white powder as possible on the surface.
2. Heat kelp and water in pot over medium heat. Remove kelp just before water boils.
3. Add tablespoon of water to restrain the boiling; add flakes and reduce the heat. Simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat.
4. Let flakes sink to bottom of pot for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Over a bowl, strain the flakes from the dashi. Keep kelp and flakes if making Niban dashi.