Bonito Flakes Make Their Way Past the Garnish

Chris Malloy

Bonito flakes may be known as an undulating garnish that elicits “oohs” and “aahs” around the table when topping anything from noodles to potatoes. But the fermented, smoked and shaved flakes, derived from a striped species of tuna (and serving as the building blocks of dashi), can be used to infuse briny flavors that get attention below the surface.

Rather than smoking over a single long period, bonito...