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Sep 18, 2006 02:51 AM

Looking for whole Katsuo to shave to make dashi

Factory-shaved katsuobushi are easy to find, but is the intact block of dried bonito available in USA?

There's no dashi experience to match the freshly shaved. But even in Japan, most people have opted for the factory shaved flakes, or powdered concentrates.

I'm hoping that it is available on the west coast (SFR, LA). If someone knows of it, could you post contact info?

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  1. I've never seen them available in SF Bay Area Japanese stores. I think your best bet would be to have someone one bring one back for you from Japan.

    1. Is there a Mitsuwa anywhere near you? I"ve never seen it at the small Japanese markets in NYC (Katagiri, Sunrise, JAS marts, etc.), but I'd be surprised if the mega-market places don't have it tucked away somewhere, you may have to ask.

      1. I think it is hard to find in Japan even nowadays. Have you found one of those katsuo box graters?

        1 Reply
        1. re: kare_raisu

          It's widely available in Okinawa, even in modern supermarkets, where they're sealed in shrink wrap. Smaller shops may have them unwrapped and stacked together like so much cord wood.

        2. Thanks for the replies. I've emailed a request to Mitsuwa, and a few of their suppliers.

          In anticiption of having to ask friends in Japan to mail some blocks to me, I checked the US Customs website, now enveloped within Dept Homeland security. Very grim... "No meats" etc.

          Yes I've got the box plane (kezuri) for shaving.

          We'll see how it goes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: FoodFuser

            Where did you get the grater? I've been looking for one, although I guess it won't do me much good if I can't find the katsuobushi. Will I have to bring both back from my next trip to Japan? I'm assuming one can easily find both in Tokyo, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

            1. re: FoodFuser

              I brought a box+the katsu back with me when I came home from Japan last year...not a problem at all

            2. I've found that boiling kombu and shiitake for a good while can create a great dashi...use more kumbu than shiitake and you'll get that fishy flavor...this is also a great vegetarian option.