Katsuo and Hatsu-gatsuo

Katsuo (bonito) is one of the most important fish on the Japanese menu. Dried and fermented it becomes katsuobushi, one of the main ingredients in dashi stock, the foundation of Japanese cooking.




But katsuo (bonito) is also eaten in many other ways: as tsukudani, preserved by cooking in a sweet-salty sauce; as shiokara, cured in salt; coated in flour and deep-fried; and, of course, raw or almost raw.

Katsuo (bonito) has two seasons – spring (haru) and fall (aki). The spring bonito is more lean and has a clear flavor.

It is a great addition to salad. Katsuo (bonito) is traditionally served with ponzu instead of soy sauce and wasabi.



May is a great time for Hatsu-gatsuo (first bonito of season), especially in the Tokyo region, and preferably as tataki, sashimi or sushi.

Grated raw garlic goes a lot better with uncooked katsuo than the usual grated wasabi, as do chopped green onions, grated ginger and shredded shiso leaves and myōga ginger.

It is a great pleasure to taste the season’s foods as soon as it cherishes the seasonal taste while feeling the seasons.


Thank you.