Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hand-shaved bonito with homemade tofu

I enjoy humble luxury of eating simple food made with cared ingredients and process.

This is my precious "Katsuobushi Kezuri-ki" (bonito shaver). It's a hand-made traditional artisan kind with the special blade. It's extremely sharp.

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This is also my precious "Katsuobushi" (dry bonito). Dry bonito has different kinds and grades. This premium katsuobushi is called, "Hongare-bushi" (from Kagoshima, Japan), which was dusted with mold and aged for longer time (so that the mold takes away the moisture and concentrate the umami flavors inside of the bonito). Hongare-bushi is the hardest kind of dry bonito also, and in fact, it's the hardest "food" you can find in the world! Seriously, it's so hard that you can use it as a weapon. It looks like a piece of hard dry wood. And, of course, the flavor of this bonito is incredible. It's so deep and lingers in your palate. Regular bonito flakes would taste so bland once you experience Hongare-bushi.

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I carefully shaved the bonito into flakes. Then, I topped my homemade tofu (made with the homemade tofu kit) with some scallion and bonito flakes, and drizzled some dashi-soy broth with grated ginger. The dish was many Japanese people say often, I feel so lucky that I was born as Japanese so I can really appreciate a dish like this.