The TENPAKU family has a very long history in making katsuobushi, but only established their own brand in 1946. Now run by the fourth generation, they are one of the very few remaining traditional-style makers of Katsuo products.
The current owner, Yukiaki Tenpaku, focuses on quality rather than quantity, and will not let a katsuobushi block leave the warehouse until is has been through all drying, smoking and fermentation cycles to perfection and the fish's natural fat has turned into a beautiful Umami.
Not surprisingly, Tenpaku katsuobushi is a favorite among skilled Japanese chefs that do not wish to comprise on quality. And now it is also available to you through NIHON ICHIBAN! We even offer the special wooden grater that allows you to experience the delight of fresh, homemade Katsuobushi flakes wherever you are in the world!
Tenpaku's honkarebushi has many fans among top class Chefs in Kyoto.
The typical Kyoto cuisine highly relies on the usage of Dashi broth and getting the best bonito flakes therefore is essential for many dishes.
Katsuobushi is smoked, dried and fermented bonito fish. It is one of the most essential ingredients in the Japanese kitchen. It is mostly used to make 'dashi' broth, which forms the base for many sauces, stocks and Umami flavor in well-known Japanese dishes. Traditionally Katsuobushi is used in blocks and shaved using a wooden grater box.
Katsuobushi originated a few thousand years B.C, but the elaborate preparation process that is still used by some makers today, dates back to the 16th century. Raw bonito fillets are gutted, sliced and simmered in water for about an hour. After that, fat, scales and bones are removed, leaving a soft and clean fillet that is smoked on wood to try and develop an even more complex flavor. Next, they are sundried and exposed to fermentation to further reduce moisture. This process is repeated up to four times!
The final Katsuobushi product is only 20% the volume of the original fillet!
Traditionally, the 'honkarebushi' are then shaved using a wooden grater, in order to deliver the best, authentic Katsuobushi shavings. Nowadays, however, many people buy cheap, pre-shaved Katsuobushi flakes at the supermarket, which are heavily altered and industrialized.
Once you have tried the intense Umami flavor of a traditionally-made Katsuobushi block,
you will not want to settle for anything less!