Can you eat Bonito flakes?

In this brief article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat bonito flakes?” with an in-depth analysis of bonito flakes, whether eating bonito flakes is a good option or not, can we reuse bonito flakes, types of bonito flakes, steps for the preparation of bonito flakes, health benefits, and nutrition content of bonito flakes.

Can you eat Bonito flakes?

Yes, we can eat bonito flakes. They are completely safe for human consumption. Bonito flakes are also known as Katsuobushi. Bonito flakes are used in making various dishes.

Bonito flakes have a smoky, savoury, and slightly fishy flavour. The taste of bonito flakes is a little bit more delicate and lighter as compared to bacon and anchovies. 

Bonito flakes are very good for imparting Umami flavour. Due to this umami flavour, bonito flakes have made Japanese cuisine famous all over the world. They can be reused to make a delicious topping for rice and stuffing.

Types of bonito flakes

Following are the two types of bonito flakes:

  • Arabushi: Arabushi is a piece of bonito that is not moulded. Its speciality is its strong scent of unmolded bonito and its low price as compared to karebushi. Its flavour is deep and slightly acidic.
  • Karebushi: Karebushi is a dried bonito on which mould is applied. To make it fat, the surface of arabushi is shaved off and dried. Making arabushi is somehow difficult and requires about six months for completion. 

The flavour of karebushi is deeper as compared to arabushi. It is preferred all over the world for its richness, flavour, bitterness, and acidity that perfectly play in harmony.  

Nutrition content of bonito flakes

Following is the list of nutrients along with their content present in 3.5 grams of bonito flakes per cup

  • Sodium: 10 per cent
  • Potassium: 1 per cent
  • Total carbohydrate: 0 per cent
  • Calories from fat: 8 grams

Process of making bonito flakes

Following are some steps that are followed while making bonito flakes:

  1. Slicing

In the first step, the head and fins of the bonito flesh are cut and removed. Cutting of fish is carried in such a way that four major parts must be available after cutting that include two parts from the dorsal section and two from the abdominal section.

  1. Arranging

After cutting, the sliced fish is arranged in such a way so that it may not collapse in the simmering step. This step is very crucial.

  1. Simmering

Once slices are arranged these are simmered for almost an hour. But the time required for simmering can vary which depends on the fish body and the freshness of the fish. A lot of care is required for the simmering step because the final shape of the fish depends on this step.

  1. Deboning

Manual removal of bones present in the fillets is carried out in this step. Removal is carried out with the help of tweezers. 

  1. Repair

Fish paste is applied to fill cracks and any hole which could have formed in the previous steps.

  1. Smoking-Drying

In this step, bonito fillets are smoked. The smoking and drying process can be repeated multiple times depending on the size of the fillets. 

Health benefits of bonito flakes

Following are some of the health benefits of bonito flakes:

  • Anti-ageing: Inosinic acid which is present in bonito flakes provides high energy which helps a lot in the anti-ageing process.
  • Relief from fatigue: Eating bonito flakes helps us to get rid of fatigue.
  • Blood pressure control: Bonito flakes help to keep blood pressure within the desired limits. It lowers systolic blood pressure and improves emotional state.
  • Reduces depression: Bonito flakes help to decrease depression by enhancing blood flow.
  • Obesity treatment: The anti-obesity effects of bonito flakes are very helpful to control obesity.

After cooking, do bonito flakes keep moving?

Bonito flakes are a little bit strange in the sense that they keep moving when they are used as a topping on rice and some other dishes. We must not get confused by the movement of bonito flakes if they are alive. No bonito flakes move due to their light and thin structure upon hot food.

Best bonito flakes brand

Numerous bonito flakes are available. The best among them are as follows:

  • Kaneso Tokuyou Hanakatsuo, Dried Bonito Flakes.
  • Parting Thoughts.
  • Marutomo Dried Shaved Bonito 
  • Yamaki Dried Shaved Bonito Flakes.
  • Yamahide Hanakatsuo Japanese Bonito Flakes.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat bonito flakes?” with an in-depth analysis of bonito flakes, whether eating bonito flakes is a good option or not, can we reuse bonito flakes, types of bonito flakes, steps for the preparation of bonito flakes, health benefits, and the nutrition content of bonito flakes.

References

https://thejapanstore.jp/blogs/column/bonito-flakesv
https://www.checkyourfood.com/ingredients/ingredient/2426/katsuo-bushi-bonito-flakes

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.