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Things to Eat and Drink in Japan

Japanese Food

Katsuo Bushi/Kezuri Bushi

Last update December 31, 2020

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Katsuo Bushi/Kezuri Bushi  かつおぶし, 鰹節/けずりぶし, 削り節

Dried Bonito (Flakes)

japanese-food-katsuo-bushi My sister and I used to keep a cat and call her “Romi”. We hadn’t fed her other than dry-type cat food. OK, we knew that didn’t look tasty and probably not tasty at all to the cat. It must’ve been literally dry and sapless. Then one day, our mum visited us and fed Romi a bowl of rice sprinkled with Katsuo Bushi! Just like a Japanese maxim says “Putting Katsuo Bushi in front of cats”, it’s like sending wolves to protect sheep — something never recommended. Completely the first palate-pleasing experience for Romi, she was probably like “Mewow! So yam-mew, yam-mew!” and puffing and panting, busily devoured that special treat (But vets say Katsuo Bushi is not good for feline health). Since then, she never wanted her old cat food. But who can complain, because even people love that particular cat-style dish? Alternately called Kezuri Bushi, it’s produced by chipping a lump of dried bonito into flakes. Used as a broth ingredient, or a topping, often blended with soy sauce, for Ohitashi (plain-boiled item) or plain Gohan, of course. The term Katsuo Bushi also refers to a dried bonito lump (before chopped into flakes).


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