Katsuobushi: recipes, where to buy it and lots of useful information on how to eat, what it is, how it is made and how to serve it. From online sales to cooking.
The katsuobushi is tuna cut into very thin slices, it is used to fill many courses, from dashii to takoyaki. At home we can cook it more easily with soy sauce and hard tofu.
Katsuobushi, what is it
TheKatsuobushiit is a very important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It is obtained by finely dissecting dried, smoked, fermented and smoked again tuna! It is also known asBonito Flakes, Bonito flakes or flakes.
It is therefore clear that thekatsuobushiit is practically dried, smoked, fermented and cut into thin sheets.
Katsuobushi, dried wakame and kombu, are the main ingredients ofdashi.
Small summary for newbies to oriental cuisine:
- Wakame and kombu are edible seaweed.
- Dashi is a broth widely used in Japan for the preparation of many soups such as miso soup or sauces to season soba.
-Miso is a traditional ingredient obtained from the fermentation of yellow soy.
-Soba has become very popular in Italy following the Milan Expo. They are buckwheat-based noodles that are also easy to prepare at home.
How to cook katsuobushi?Make the dashi and use it to flavor your homemade soba! For all information, I refer you to the pageSoba, what it is and how to do it.
How Katsuobushi is done
Thekatsuobushipreserve only the lean part of the tuna. During its production, in fact, the tuna is filleted, gutted and deprived of fats because these do not lend themselves well to fermentation. Traditionally, thekatsuobushiit is smoked on oak, pasania or castanopsis wood. This process can take up to a month and requires daily attention.
Every day, the tuna undergoes 5 - 6 hours of smoking, following the session there is a rest interval and then, the following day, a new smoking. This “smoking-rest” cycle is repeated for 15 days. Only after this process, we move on to fermentation.
Smoked, unfermented tuna is commonly found in Japan and is marketed asaragatsuo or katsuo-kezuri-bushi, are considered a good substitute for thekatsuobushieven if they have not undergone any fermentation.
But what does thekatsuobushiis it dried, smoked and fermented tuna? We have clarified what smoking consists of, with regard to fermentation, the tuna, after a further rest / drying in the sun, is left for two weeks in a closed environment covered with microorganisms (fungi)Aspergillus glacus, during fermentation, any residual moisture is dissipated and thekatsuobushitakes on its typical flavor!
Buy katsuobushi online
Again, I propose a small lexicon, useful if you intendbuy katsuobushi online, so as not to be confused with products that appear similar.
- Karebushi = simple dried fillet, with a quick drying.
- Honkarebushi = “true” dried fillet, ie it undergoes a drying process for a long time. Honkarebushi of the highest quality, for example, can be dried for up to two years!
- katsuo-kezuri-bushi, hanakatsuo or aragatsuo = names to indicate dried and smoked, but not fermented, fillet.
Katsuobushi, where to buy it
If you are wonderingwhere to find the Katsuobushi, know that online sales are your first ally. On Amazon, a package of good quality katsuobushi can be bought for 8.76 euros with free shipping. It is Japanese katuobushi, in my experience, very appreciable. For all the info, I refer you tothis Amazon page. Don't hesitate to experiment with other products!
I have already suggested that you use thekatsuobushifor the preparation of dashi. In any case, this ingredient comes in handy for a large number ofrecipesWhich:
- It can be served, finely chopped, accompanied with soy sauce, as a topping for cold tofu.
- As a filling for onigiri (a sort of "rice balls").
- As a seasoning for rice, paired with strips of Nori seaweed.
- As a garnish of takoyaki and okonomiyaki.
- As a topping or topping for ramen.
- As a topping or topping for soba.
Takoyaki are filled delights made with wheat flour, usually the filling is given by finely chopped octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu) ... they are brushed with a sauce and can be enriched withkatsuobushi.
You are sure to know the okonomiyaki “Japanese savory pancakes”, one is shown in the photo above, covered in smoked tuna flakes.