Bonito; known as katsuo bushi in Japanese, are made by salting bonito fish fillets which are left to ferment for four to six months before being shaved into fine flakes or ground into powder. They undergo a meticulous process of smoking, drying, and fermenting to develop their distinct flavour. Bonito flakes are known for their intense umami taste, which adds depth and complexity to various dishes!
Bonito flakes are also used as a topping or garnish for various dishes. When sprinkled on top of dishes like okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), takoyaki (octopus balls), or cold tofu, they add a delightful umami flavour and a hint of smokiness. They can also be used as a seasoning for noodles, salads, and rice dishes!