Once in a while, during my vacation days in the Philippines, I have a chance to see fishermen coming from the whole night’s work of trying to catch a livelihood. It’s an exciting part of the day when you see your husband or your brother coming from the ocean safe and sound and in one piece. Not only that, there is a catch, a bucket full of bonitos also known as skipjack tuna.
Bonitos are good broiled when fresh and a serve with tomatoes and onions seasoned with patis or bagoong. We also cook it in coconut milk with ginger and hot peppers for added flavor. If the bonito is big enough for cutting into steak, we deep fried the bonito and dip in vinegar with garlic and hot chili peppers. Another way to make a fried bonito is what we call fish steak, with red onions cut in rings and then seasoned with soy sauce.
In Japan, the bonitos are smoked and dried to make katsoubushi which after drying can be grated into flakes to make dashi or just sprinkled into salads or other foods for flavoring.