Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

katsuobushi a prominent ingredient in Japanese cookery, is dried fillets of skipjack flesh. These are treated by steam and then dried so thoroughly that they become as hard as wood, and indeed look like thick wooden boomerangs.

Traditionally, a special implement (like a plane set upside down on a box) is used to shave off very thin slices, usually destined for the preparation of the basic Japanese soup stock, dashi. However, the shaving is a slow business which requires a certain expertise, so time-saving katsuobushi products are available, including ready-prepared shavings, and ‘instant’ katsuobushi granules.