How to make Katsuo Dashi (Bonito stock)??


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 The Basics of Japanese Cooking!! Let's learn how to bring out the flavor properly!!

Dashi is the basis of Japanese cuisine. It is used as the base of dishes in every country. In Japan, too, five types of dashi are mainly used to suit Japanese cuisine. In this article, I would like to introduce one of them, "Katsuo dashi" ( bonito stock).

What is "Katsuo Dashi" (bonito stock)?

Katsuo dashi is a broth made from dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi) from which the flavor and UMAMI are extracted. It is rich in the UMAMI component inosinic acid and contains a small amount of glutamic acid, another UMAMI component. In Japan, this katsuo dashi and four other types of dashi are mainly used.

💡UMAMI : Umami occurs naturally in many foods, like seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, meat and fish.

5 types of dashi

  • Katsuo dashi
  • Konbu dashi
  • Shiitake dashi
  • Niboshi dashi
  • Awase dashi

Umami drawn from dried bonito flakes (Katsuobushi)

Katsuo dashi is characterized by its aroma and freshness. In particular, shaved arabushi has a very nice aroma of bonito combined with a smoky aroma, and refreshing taste with a slightly sour flavor. In 2013, Japanese food was registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the fact that Japanese katsuo dashi is tasty and helthy has spread overseas. It is a taste of Japan that we can be proud of to the world.

There are two types of dashi: Ichiban dashi (first dashi) and Niban dashi (second dashi). Ichiban dashi is made by extracting the flavor from the ingredients themselves without heating them. Niban dashi refers to dashi made by heating the dashi shells after the ichiban dashi has been made.

😉In this article, I will show you how to make Ichiban dashi.

What kind of food do you use it for?

Ichiban dashi is best used in lightly seasoned dishes to take advantage of its mellow flavor and aroma. Niban dashi is characterized by its storong umami taste, so it should be used for highly seasoned dishes to take advantage of this feature.

Dishes that go well with katsuo dashi
  • Miso soup
  • Oden
  • Savory egg custard (Chawanmushi)
  • Tempura sauce (Tentsuyu)
  • Japanese omelette (Dashi-maki Tamago)
  • Clear broth soup (Osuimono)

How to select dried bonito flakes (Katsuobushi)?

Pre-shaved Katsuobushi and thick/thin shavings

Bonito flakes can be broadly divided into two types: those used for making dashi and those used for sprinkling. If you are making dashi with shavings for the first time, start with the all-purpose thin shavings (Hana katsuo). Thick shavings are also recommended for dishes with a strong flavor, as they produce a rich dashi broth.

Ito-kezuri (fine shavings) for sprinkling

Katsuobushi shaved finer than normal shavings. It is used as a sprinkling or garnish for dishes. Just by sprinkling, you can taste the umami of bonito flakes.


Ask a pro!! How to make Katsuo dashi.

Now let's look at how to make katsuo dashi together. 

Prepare Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). Then, boil water in a pot. 

Hana Katsuo (Thin shavings)

💡At this time, boil more water than the amount of broth you want to make.

When the water comes to a boil, add a little water to reduce bubbles.
👉This is because adding Katsuobushi while it is still boiling gives it an eggy taste.

Add about 1% of Katsuobushi to the hot water and bring to a boil again for 1-2 minutes.

After 1-2 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes.  When the Katsuobushi sink to the bottom of the pot, strain them through a colander with a cloth between them.

⚠️At this time, do not squeeze the Katsuobushi because they will have an eggy taste.

Clear Katsuodashi is ready!!!

Katsuo dashi (Bonito soup stock)

You may think it is a hassle, but it makes food tastier, and as long as you have broth, food preparation becomes more efficient! I think it is a good idea. Please try it when you have time. 

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