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katsuo-bushi


torakris
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My father-in-law likes to eat fresh tofu with shoyu and katsuo-bushi. My mother-in-law buys those little single serve packages of katsuo-bushi though.

My father-in-law wasn't too happy when I told him that they sell katsuo-bushi in packages like that in pet stores as cat treats. The look on his face was priceless.

Cheryl

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  • 1 year later...

I searched for a thread for this topic and found none...

I LOVE bonito flakes, but Im allergic to the smoke in them...

What can I use in place of them in Dashi and other dishes that call for them?

Fish sauce? Fish stock? The broth from a can of tuna?

Also, for the sake of others, who out here still shaves their own every morning?

And can foreigners buy whole, unshaved bonito?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I LOVE bonito flakes, but Im allergic to the smoke in them...

What can I use in place of them in Dashi and other dishes that call for them?

Fish sauce? Fish stock? The broth from a can of tuna?

There's also a mold culture involved in the production of katsuobushi, which may contribute to your sensitivity. In any event, I've always thought of it (and the kombu) as meant to have a distinct but certainly not overwelming flavor contribution. "Vegetarian" dashi (no bonito) works passably for a number of things (hey - I'm not the vegetarian, but was catering to one who was). Since I suspect a number of other availble cured fish products won't be acceptable subsitutes for you (unless it is the mold, in which case I would head straight to smoked salmons or tunas), I imagine stock from any flavorfull fish'd be just fine. A -little- stock.

And can foreigners buy whole, unshaved bonito?

I've seen it in Manhattan on a couple of occasions (by accident), but never gone looking for it purposefully.

John

Edited by Chapter House (log)
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You might also try using niboshi, small dried sardine-like fish, which is typical in west Japan.

While Gaku Homma describes a dried konbu/dried shiitake base for dashi as a vegetarian stock, which he prefers for some dishes over the katsuo type, my girlfriend prefers it when I use dried porcini instead of shiitake. While certainly not indigenous, it does a better job of simulating the aroma and complexity of katsuo than shiitake does.

Originally I tried this on a whim, and I was surprised at how similar it is to katsuo-dashi.

Edited by JasonTrue (log)

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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While Gaku Homma describes a dried konbu/dried shiitake base for dashi as a vegetarian stock, which he prefers for some dishes over the katsuo type, my girlfriend prefers it when I use dried porcini instead of shiitake. While certainly not indigenous, it does a better job of simulating the aroma and complexity of katsuo than shiitake does.

Originally I tried this on a whim, and I was surprised at how similar it is to katsuo-dashi.

Jason:

What is the book you are referencing? Is it one you would recommend?

Regards,

JasonZ

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Japanese Country Cooking, by Gaku Homma, is one of the first Japanese cookbooks I bought and still one I reference regularly. It's more useful as a guide to the origins and uses of various ingredients than as a recipe book, and the first edition I have contains several translation and transliteration errors, but it's a far deeper reference than any ordinary cookbook.

It's also full of culinary folklore, some inaccurate (many of my mistakes corrected by others on this board are thanks to this book), but on the other hand, folklore is also valuable for making sense of the mindset that goes into making Japanese cuisine.

Gaku's book also became more valuable to me after I had more taste experiences in Japan, as I was able to make more sense of "season to taste" guidance, and get a better sense of proportionality and balance.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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NOTE:

topics have been merged.

GlorifiedRice,

I would definitely give some of the suggestions a try. I have made wonderful dashis without katsuo-bushi. Just kombu, just niboshi, dried shiitake soaking water, etc. If it is for miso soup you can often get away with no dashi at all if you have strong flavored ingredients. I never use dashi for ton-jiru, miso soup with pork and many different vegetables.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 months later...

My daughter came home from school the other day and told me how much she loved one of the dishes that was served for lunch that day. The monthly menu that we receive lists all of the ingredients of every dish and a quick check showed:

hakusai (Chinese cabbage)

salt

katsuo-bushi

soy sauce

I salted the cabbage and let it sit for a bit then mixed it with katsuo-bushi and soy sauce, what could be simpler!?

My daughter said it tasted the same as the one she ate at school, I guess that is a compliment.. :blink:

gallery_6134_4148_383549.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My daughter came home from school the other day and told me how much she loved one of the dishes that was served for lunch that day.  The monthly menu that we receive lists all of the ingredients of every dish and a quick check showed:

hakusai (Chinese cabbage)

salt

katsuo-bushi

soy sauce

I salted the cabbage and let it sit for a bit then mixed it with katsuo-bushi and soy sauce, what could be simpler!?

My daughter said it tasted the same as the one she ate at school, I guess that is a compliment.. :blink:

gallery_6134_4148_383549.jpg

Ooh, that looks good! I like katsuo-bushi on takoyaki. I'll get takoyaki from my conbini and reheat it in my toaster oven. I like the texture that way much better than from a microwave.

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My daughter came home from school the other day and told me how much she loved one of the dishes that was served for lunch that day.  The monthly menu that we receive lists all of the ingredients of every dish and a quick check showed:

hakusai (Chinese cabbage)

salt

katsuo-bushi

soy sauce

I salted the cabbage and let it sit for a bit then mixed it with katsuo-bushi and soy sauce, what could be simpler!?

My daughter said it tasted the same as the one she ate at school,?I guess that is a compliment.. :blink:

gallery_6134_4148_383549.jpg

This dish is great!!! I had some hakusai that I have been needing to use up and I made this yesterday. It is so easy and so tasty. I made a lot of it and I couldn't stop munching on it. I'll never have hakusai go bad again! Thanks! :biggrin:

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  • 11 months later...

To bring up an old subject....

I've seen katsuo-bushi for sale at Boulette's Larder in the San Francisco Ferry Building. Now that I've learned to look for a metallic sound when selecting a piece...perhaps I'll try one out? They also sell the katsuobushi kezuriki...and I've seen the kezuriki at one other store in SF. I'm just wondering if there are any other places that sell katsuobushi in the SF/Bay Area?

Also, other than looking for a metallic ring, are there any other particular ways to spot higher quality katsuobushi?

Keep the tips coming!

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And I try to buy small bags and keep them refrigerated, but it invariably ends up tasting like wood shavings anyway.  I reckon a hunk of bonito would keep better.
I too find that the katsuobushi go off by the time I finish a bag because I don't use them fast enough.

I tend to keep the older packets for making dashi, and use the fresher packets when I need toppings for Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki etc. You don't notice the flavour loss as badly that way. Still, I tend to buy the "kitty treat" sized packs just in case :rolleyes:

Edited to add: Kris, I have some Chinese cabbage going begging in the fridge - guess what I'm trying tonight??

Edited by Kuma (log)
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