Make, Jane, make!: What to do with used bonito? Homemade Furikake!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What to do with used bonito? Homemade Furikake!

I know I seem like a glutton for punishment at times - the things I make at home which could be easily bought at the store... But I have my reasons, usually.

I make my own dashi at home (check out Just Hungry for an explanation of what that is and how it is made) because I have not been able to find dashi granules that do not contain MSG. I have nothing against instant dashi, a little high in sodium maybe... but I do react to MSG (hives, eczema, etc.), so instant dashi has always been a no-no for me.

The by-product of homemade dashi is lots and lots of used bonito. It's been boiled once and twice, but I know it still contains a lot of goodness in it. Up until recently, I had no idea what to do with it and it always seemed such a waste to throw it away. Luckily, a fountain of knowledge in all things food (especially Japanese cuisine), my friend Chiho (check out her cake/pastry skills!) told me it could be dried and made into furikake.

Here is the strained bonito leftover from dashi making. I've sprinkled some sesame seeds on top, since I figure I may as well toast them at the same time.

I threw them into a 350F oven and just tossed them about and checked on them regularly until they seemed almost dry. When it looked as if they had only about 5 minutes to go, I added some nori (seaweed) to the tray and let that toast for the last few minutes as well.

When it was all dry, I crumbled everything up a bit and threw it into my food processor with some sugar and salt. Pulsed until the ingredients were finely chopped.

Then I taste tested, added a bit more salt and popped it into an old furikake bottle that I had cleaned and saved for just such an occasion. Hubby had a taste and approved. Now to start making stock from all the frozen chicken carcasses I have... before baby #3 arrives!

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