How Traditional Japanese Bonito Flakes are Made


Kazuri-bushi are the delicious dehydrated fish flakes made from a close relative of the tuna, called the bonito. They are added as a condiment to many Japanese dishes, and also form the base for dashi stock, so they’re pretty important to Japanese cuisine.

The flakes are shaved from a fillet that has been smoked, and then left to dry and ferment for months, resulting in a block as hard as wood known as katsuobushi – some call it the hardest food in the world.

The production of katsuobushi is largely industrial now in Japan, but there are some artisans still prepping their katsobushi by hand, like those featured in the video below from Great Big Story.

The Great Big Story team have travelled extensively through Japan and South Korea, searching out the region's most unique food stories, like the fastest mochi maker in Japan.


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